Comedian Jimmy Fallon learned that an accent rug can become an accident rug. In 2015, the Tonight Show host tripped on a braided rug in his kitchen, and as a result, his finger was ripped from its socket (via Entertainment Weekly). While this injury wasn’t fatal, research shows that rugs and carpets can be dangerous, especially in homes with senior citizens.
A 2013 study in the Journal of Injury and Violence Research analyzed data spanning 2001 to 2008 from 66 U.S. hospitals. The focus of the research was on adults 65 years old or older being treated in emergency departments due to injuries from falls. Based on this information, the researchers estimated that U.S. emergency departments treat around 38,000 adults in this age group on an annual basis because of falling due to carpets or rugs. Additionally, more than 70% of these fall-related injuries happened in the home. Although this survey focused on nonfatal injuries, the National Institute on Aging explains that if a senior citizen trips on a rug, that could result in a broken bone or bones, potentially leading to hospital confinement, disability, or death.
Fortunately, as the study notes, one can use tape or non-skid backing to help keep rugs in place, and it’s possible to fix a carpet that has curled edges. But if a rug or carpet can’t be effectively secured or repaired, then discarding it might be the best option.