Tips for Getting Up if You Slip and Fall
By Anica Oaks
Slip and fall accidents can cause more damage to our bodies than we realize. Often, we think that because we didn’t hit our heads or feel pain right away, we must be fine. But even a simple fall can cause serious injuries, like broken bones, pulled muscles, and bruising. But, at some point in our life, it seems we all take a spill so we’re offering some tips on how to get up if it happens.
If you’ve already fallen, the most important thing to do is to prevent further injuries. This means not moving too much and waiting for help if you can’t get up on your own. If you try to stand up too quickly, you could make your injuries worse. For example, if you’ve broken a bone in your arm, moving it could cause the bone to puncture the skin, or on an even more serious note, a broken rib could puncture a lung. It never hurts to pause for a moment to re-orient yourself and take stock in the injuries you may have sustained before attempting to get back on your feet.
If you’re alone and can’t get up, your best bet is to call for help. Try to stay calm and reach for your phone if you can. If you have a medical condition that requires immediate attention, like diabetes or asthma, be sure to let the dispatcher know so they can send help as quickly as possible. While you’re waiting, consider how your back is doing. Your spine is critical to protecting your nervous system so if you think you may have injured it, stay as still as possible until help arrives.
If you’ve assessed that you can get up on your own after you slip and fall, it’s time to start moving. Take a moment to brace yourself. The last thing you want is to fall again while trying to get up. Move as slowly as possible, continuing to assess yourself as you rise. If you inadvertently bumped your head, you may experience being light-headed or dizzy.
To get back on your feet, start by using your arms to push yourself up into a sitting position. Your next move will depend a lot on your physique. If you’re able to get up from a sitting position, do so slowly while holding onto something. If you are not able to stand from this position, roll onto your stomach and use your hands to walk yourself up onto your knees, and then use something to brace yourself as you stand up the rest of the way.
It can be embarrassing to slip and fall, but don’t let that override your good judgment. These types of accidents can cause serious injuries, so it’s always best to err on the side of caution and get help if you’re not sure you can get up on your own.