Falling while visiting a business could lead to serious injuries. Some people could break a bone, which might mean weeks where they cannot work at all. Others could hit their heads, leading to an injury that affects their cognition, balance or independent living for the rest of their lives.
You will have just a fraction of a second to respond when you suddenly slip and then fall while at a store. Should you try to catch yourself with your arms on the way down, or does that increase your risk?
The best use of your arms is to protect your head
Trying to stop the momentum of a fall with nothing but one arm could easily lead to a fracture in that arm, especially if you are an older adult. The faster you fall, the more likely it is that the momentum is enough to cause a serious break. However, if you make no effort at all to slow the fall or protect yourself, you can hit your head and suffer a traumatic brain injury.
If possible, the best thing to do with your arms when you fall is to lift them up as a way to cushion your head and keep it from hitting any nearby fixtures or furniture when you fall. Trying to turn your body so that you fall to the side, instead of directly to the front or back, could also reduce your risk of hurting your head.
Of course, not everyone will have the opportunity to make a conscious decision when they have already lost their balance. Knowing your rights if you get hurt on someone else’s property can help you reduce the long-term impact of a slip-and-fall injury.