Avoiding Injuries At Home: A Checklist
Our Ottawa physiotherapists and other sports medicine specialists help many clients get back to their normal lives after an injury. While there is a broad range of therapies available, many soft tissue injuries are notoriously difficult to treat. An ounce of prevention, as they say, is worth a pound of cure. As the statistics show, out of all the types of accidents causing injury, including automobiles, the risk of getting injured at home, while doing things you do every day, ranges from more than 23% (18 to 64 years old) to more than 40% for those over the age of 65.
You let your guard down when you’re at home, and you relax. But, you shouldn’t relax when it comes to staying safe. Here are some guidelines to keeping your home safe from falls, spills, and other injuries.
- Do you have a functional fire/smoke detector and carbon monoxide detector outside each bedroom, and in the main hallway?
- Do all the detectors have batteries that you replace at least once every 12 months?
Trips and falls are among the most common accidents in the home, and elsewhere too.
- Are your entrances, including the rooms in your home as well as the outside door, well lit?
- Are the floors smooth and level, or do they have cracks and irregular surfaces?
If you have a home office, your Ottawa physiotherapist or chiropractor can also provide advice on how to make sure your furnishings are arranged ergonomically, to avoid injury from overuse and undue strain.
When it comes to floors and carpets, look for:
- Uneven floors, cracks, exposed nail heads;
- Rugs that don’t lay flat, are bunched or uneven;
- Carpet edges that curl upwards.
Avoid putting cords under the carpet – tack them down along the wall or otherwise out of the way instead.
- Do your stairs have functional railings that will support your weight?
- Don’t forget to check the integrity and surface of the stairs, and any carpeting you have on them, too.
Fire and burn hazards may be located throughout the home.
- Keep your hot water heater at 120 degrees Fahrenheit or lower.
- Plug multiple appliances in different outlets.
- Keep paper away from the stove and oven.
- If a fire starts in your home/building, do you have an escape plan?
- Check all the cords and cables you use for electrical appliances – are they whole and intact, or are there frayed areas?
There are appliances and gadgets that can make your home safer.
- Rubber and/or non-slip mats for the bath and shower;
- Grab bars for the shower or bath enclosure walls;
- Two-way tape to secure small area rugs and mats.
A little forethought goes a long way towards keeping your home safe, and reducing your risk of injury.
If you have experienced an accidental injury, the dedicated staff at our Toronto physiotherapy, chiropractic and sports medicine clinics can help you get back to your normal. Call one of our Toronto physiotherapy clinics today for a consultation.