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CommentaryPreventive MedicinePrimary Care

Stairs Can Hurt You at Home

By January 14, 2018February 21st, 2020No Comments

Home injuries are common, frequently significant, not just for the elderly, and mostly preventable.

Falls on Stairs

Most common is falling down stairs. In the past year we have seen four significant injuries in this department. While three of the incidents just resulted in substantial bruising, one member suffered a head injury that required hospitalization. The common theme was walking down (or up!) stairs while holding something in each hand so that the bannister could not be used for balance nor to grab on to after slipping.

Another factor in two of the falls was walking on wooden floors and stairs while wearing socks. In the case of a younger male patient, it was running down the wooden stairs in socks without holding the bannister. When his feet unsurprisingly slipped, there was no recovery move possible.

Tripping on Obstacles on Floor

We also had two members recently suffer severe injuries at home from stumbling on items or children’s toys. One person dislocated a hip, another suffered a severe ankle fracture. You can’t banish your children or grandchildren, but you need to look out for clutter in your living space.

Common Sense Measures

Keep at least one hand free when using stairs. Keep one hand on or over the bannister. Be wary of walking on wooden stairs in socks. Think about putting carpet runners on any wooden staircase. Pick up toys and objects on the floor. Pay attention! The limbs you protect are likely to be your own.

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