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Information on the frequency and cost of slips and falls

Slips, trips and falls happen every day across New Jersey and the rest of the nation. They happen at work, at home and on excursions to shopping malls, restaurants and movie theaters.

Sometimes they occur due to the inattention of a person, while other times they happen because of bad design or negligence on the part of a business.

A common danger to the elderly

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says that falls among older adults are common, costly and preventable. In fact, falls rank as the number one cause of injuries and fatalities to the elderly. About one in four adults report a fall of some sort each year, with about 37% of these resulting in an injury requiring medical attention.

In New Jersey, just over 21% of older adults fell in 2018. This is a bit lower than the national average. The medical cost of falls in New Jersey exceeded $1.3 billion in 2018, with about $219 million of that coming out of pocket for seniors.

A peril for all ages

While falls are a significant cause of morbidity for the elderly, the World Health Organization reports that young adults aged 15-29 and children less than 15 also suffer serious consequences from falls. A number of risk factors for children make this age group susceptible to injury. These factors include the following:

  • Developmental inexperience
  • Innate curiosity
  • Risk-taking behavior
  • Hazardous environments

Both male and females face multiple risks of falls. In general, men are more likely to die from falls while women suffer more frequent falls that are not fatal. Falls at work could account for the higher rate of death for men.