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Trips and falls more frequent among youth than elderly

Georgia residents should know about a study from Purdue University that states that trips and falls are more frequent among young adults than the elderly. Researchers had a group of 94 college students (average age 19) respond to a daily online survey asking if they had tripped in the past 24 hours. The study period was four months, and the response rate was 93 percent.

On average, each student slipped or tripped once a week with 52 percent falling at least once in the four months. Twenty-one percent fell more than once. The fall rate did not go down significantly outside of winter conditions, and one-third of the falls took place indoors. Sixteen percent resulted in injuries and 4 percent in injuries requiring medical treatment.

As for the factors, the most common was talking while talking. Researchers note that this is a multi-task with many cognitive demands, requiring the use of language formulation, speech generation, terrain navigation and balance control at the same time. Three percent of falls were due to texting while walking, and 9 percent were attributed to substance abuse.

One reason why the elderly may experience less falls, is that, being conscious of their higher risk for injuries, they are more cautious. The CDC says falls are the third leading cause of unintentional injuries among those aged 18 to 35.

Some slip, trip and fall accidents occur because of dangerous conditions. For instance, the property owner may have failed to do anything about a poorly lit staircase or torn carpeting. There may have been a wet floor and no warning sign. The victims of a property owner's negligence may be able to receive compensation for their medical expenses and other losses, but they may want to retain a lawyer for the filing of the personal injury claim.

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