In Case of Emergency

In case of emergency dial 911 or go to your nearest emergency room.

Trips and Falls

Trips and falls are the leading cause of unintentional home injury and cause 43% of home injury deaths. Often times they are caused by situations that are 100% preventable, such as slipping on a loose rug or tripping over clutter, broken flooring, or an extension cord.


The Source

There are numerous causes of slips, trips and falls in the home. Some of the more prevalent sources are:

  • Wet or slippery surfaces. Think showers and tubs as well as spills on the kitchen floor or an unsecured rug.
  • Environmental conditions. Ice in the winter or wet steps after a rain.
  • Insufficient lighting. Not being able to see can cause people to stumble over items that they would normally avoid.
  • Changes in elevation. Stairs certainly come to mind, but any change of more than a quarter of an inch can cause people to stumble. Flooring changes, cracks in flooring or pavement, and thresholds can all cause falls.
  • Housekeeping issues. Items left on the floor or stairs can cause certain hazards.


Who is at Risk?

All people are at risk of falls, but they are more common in children (who are just learning to walk and are still developing their sense of balance) and the elderly.


Health Impacts

The obvious health impacts are scrapes, bruises and broken bones. The elderly are particularly susceptible to falls, and the stress of the injury can have extreme effects upon their health. According to a recent study, women aged 65 and older who fracture a hip are more than two times as likely to die in the year following injury.



  • Look around your home for potential trip and fall hazards and correct them.
  • Wipe up spills and other liquids on the floor right away.
  • Use double-sided tape to tape down area rugs.
  • Make sure lighting is sufficient in all areas, and that it can be turned on without walking in the dark.
  • Repair flooring and stairs that are in disrepair.
  • Install stable railings alongside stairs.
  • Use a stair gate and window guards, especially with younger children.
  • Install grab bars in showers and bathtubs.


Did You Know...

Young children spend about 70% of the time in their home.


Falls Prevention Tips(737 KB)

From Safe Kids Worldwide

Lifting Parent Voices, The COFI Way

Every second Monday of the month at 5pm, the conference room at the Healthy Homes Coalition fills up with parents. They file in, greet each other warmly and find their usual seats.

Over a quick dinner, weekly stories are swapped and pictures are shared as parents catch up. Parents for Healthy Homes meetings are part support group, part advocacy work, part leadership training class, and all parent connection.

The leadership training component is a result of our relationship with Community Organizing and Family Issues (COFI), a nonprofit organization based out of Chicago which connects parents to one another, helping turn their voices in actionable change.  COFI was created in 1995, with former community organizer Barack Obama as a founding member.


Why Parent Voices Matter More

Two stories featuring parents who are fighting to end childhood lead poisoned were told in local news this past week.

These two stories represent the voices of parents whose children are directly affected by the threat of lead poisoning in the community. They are just two of thousands more in the city.

Asthma: The Overlooked Housing Hazard

While efforts to fix lead paint hazards in Grand Rapids are currently in process and in the news, it’s important to remember that asthma is another major health concern for children in the city.

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