PEORIA, Ill.–More people in Peoria County have been killed this year by falling than last year at the same time.
So far this year, first responders in Peoria County have responded to 65 deadly falling calls.
“I keep trends throughout the year of the number of accidental deaths throughout the county; homicides, suicides, falls. What I saw trending throughout the year, was an increased number in our falls comparatively to last year,” Peoria County Coroner Jamie Harwood said.
According to Harwood, the number of deaths by falling makes up more than one-third of un-natural deaths in Peoria County, up 20 percent from 2018.
“People out there may say, how are you dying because of a fall? Most of the falls we are seeing are from ground level or from a walking position where someone might trip and fall and sustain an injury,” said Harwood.
Josh Bradshaw with Advanced Medical Transport says his agency responded to 4800 falls this year and the first thing they do is check for injuries.
“The most dangerous kind of injury is, of course, a head injury and a spinal injury too. So when we respond to those types of incidents, those are the things we look for first,” said Bradshaw.
Falls are generally associated with the elderly and according to the Centers for Disease Control, one in four seniors will fall each year.
Harwood says these accidents are preventable.
“Another thing we see in the elderly population is people who fail to use their assisted devices. Things that provide good stability and balance that they’re not using and that puts another demographic at risk of falling,” said Harwood.
He urges seniors to take the extra precautions so they don’t become fall victims.
“Wear your glasses so you can see obstacles, you can see your path where you’re walking, wear your hearing aids, use your assisted devices.”
Although falls are most common in older people, Bradshaw says anyone can fall, and it’s especially dangerous in winter.
“We’ve seen a big variety of people who’ve taken a tumble and injured themselves. We encourage people not to go out if you don’t have to and put yourself in that danger to stay away from ice and icy conditions,” said Bradshaw.
To find out how you can prevent yourself from falling, head to the CDC’s website.