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Instill in Our Patients Safe Habits When Using Their Equipment

Shriners Hospitals for Children Canada is committed to taking all necessary precautions to prevent the risk of falls and injuries. The acronym SAFE (Safety of Premises, Mobility Assistance, Reduced Risk Factors, and Patient and Family Education) describes key strategies for Universal Preventive Precautions. To be effective, falls prevention and injury reduction require an interdisciplinary approach and the support of all departments of the hospital. This involves implementing a coordinated approach while recognizing the unique needs of the various services such as, for example, the rehabilitation service.

Therapists in rehabilitation ensure that our patients are the safest while using their equipment. Preventing falls and accidents while walking or during transportation is essential in creating a seamless rehabilitation journey. Being aware of the environment and following tips for safe use of equipment allows patients to ensure their own safety.

Tips for Safe Use of Crutches

Check and maintain your crutches; ask yourself these questions: Are my crutch tips worn down/ unleveled? Are my crutch armpit pads worn out? Are the handgrips not firm or supporting? If yes, ask to get them replaced!

In addition, when walking with crutches, wearing proper footwear is important for safety and preventing accidents. Do your shoes support your foot and ankle? Do your shoes have good grip? Are your shoes closed toe? Closed toe gym shoes are the safest shoes to pair with crutches.

Avoid walking on wet, slippery or uneven floors. Be attentive and cautious with seasonal changes to the outdoors (i.e., ice, snow, rain, mud).

Safety Tips for Wheelchair Transportation

When using your personal wheelchair in adaptive transportation, you have to ask yourself these questions: Do I have a headrest? Do I have a chest strap? Does my wheelchair have transportation anchors? Make sure that you always wear the wheelchair waist belt properly and that your seat is in an upright position. These two tips are for all passengers driving in the car.

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