Information for Patients
People drown when they get too much water in their lungs. You can drown in as little as an inch or two of water. Babies can drown in a sink or bathtub. Preschoolers are most likely to drown in a swimming pool. People who have seizure disorders are also at risk in the water. Drowning can happen quickly and silently.
Drowning precautions should include
- Fences around pools
- Supervising children near any body of water, including tubs
- Not swimming or boating when under the influence of alcohol or sedatives
- Wearing life jackets when boating
- Learning CPR
Falls can be dangerous at any age. Babies and young children can get hurt falling off furniture or down the stairs. Older children may fall off playground equipment. For older adults, falls can be especially serious. They are at higher risk of falling. They are also more likely to break a bone when they fall, especially if they have osteoporosis. A broken bone, especially when it is a hip, may even lead to disability and a loss of independence for older adults.
Some common causes of falls include
- Balance problems
- Some medicines, which can make you feel dizzy, confused, or slow
- Vision problems
- Alcohol, which can affect your balance and reflexes
- Muscle weakness, especially in your legs, which can make it harder for you to get up from a chair or keep your balance when walking on an uneven surface.
- Certain illnesses, such as low blood pressure, diabetes, and neuropathy
- Slow reflexes, which make it hard to keep your balance or move out of the way of a hazard
- Tripping or slipping due to loss of footing or traction
At any age, people can make changes to lower their risk of falling. It important to take care of your health, including getting regular eye exams. Regular exercise may lower your risk of falls by strengthening your muscles, improving your balance, and keeping your bones strong. And you can look for ways to make your house safer. For example, you can get rid of tripping hazards and make sure that you have rails on the stairs and in the bath. To reduce the chances of breaking a bone if you do fall, make sure that you get enough calcium and vitamin D.
NIH: National Institute on Aging