According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), one in every five falls results in a serious injury, so slipping and falling is not a matter to take lightly. While some people may walk away from a fall without any ill effects, for some people, a fall can inflict life changing consequences. Older people are particularly susceptible, with three million seniors requiring hospitalization due to falls each year.

If you slip and fall in a public place or anywhere, you might end up with a serious injury. Depending on how the fall hurt you, it might take weeks to recover. Even after you recover physically, the experience may inflict long lasting emotional effects. The CDC explains some of the possible consequences of a fall.

Broken bones

Falls can hurt any part of the body. Depending on where you fall, you may suffer a broken bone. Bone fractures can occur anywhere, such as the wrist, the arm, the ankle, the hip, or even the spinal cord. In fact, more than 95% of hip fractures occur because of a fall. Falls may cause injuries to other parts of the body, like soft tissue or nerves, or also cause external bleeding.

Head injuries

Some people hit their heads when they fall. A blow to the head may result in serious or even deadly injury. Some fall victims experience damage to the brain, which can turn fatal if not treated. In fact, falls are the most common source of traumatic brain injuries. Internal bleeding is another danger. Blows to the head may also produce a life threatening condition if a person takes medicine such as blood thinner.

Fear of falling

Even after recovering from a fall, some people become so terrified of the possibility of falling again that they restrict their activities. They do not go out as much as they used to or they may limit running or walking. Even people who do not suffer injury may become anxious of falling. However, a lack of activity can weaken your body and actually make it more likely you suffer a fall again in the future.