Step Safely: Strategies for preventing and managing falls across the life-course

Falls take the lives of 684 000 people each year. Beyond the death toll, 172 million more people experience disabilities arising from a fall each year. Falls are not only a significant global public health problem – they are a rapidly growing one. Fall-related deaths have risen far faster than any other type of injury over the last two decades. Many factors account for this increase – ageing populations and patterns of urbanization chief among them. The Step Safely technical package provides concrete recommendations for evidence-based strategies to prevent and manage falls for children and adolescents, workers, and older people. Among others, effective prevention measures include parenting programmes for low-income and marginalized families, stricter worker safety regulations, and strength and balance training for older people. Preventing falls can help achieve the Sustainable Development Goals linked to health and well-being, decent work, and safe, inclusive cities. The global community should actively look for opportunities to reduce the growing harm, suffering and loss that result from falls.