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Following wheelchair safety tips are crucial if you want to get the most out of your independence and enjoy a lifestyle on the go. Correct usage, handling and upkeep of your mobility chair are vital to your safety and warding off accidental injury.
Wheelchair Safety Guidelines
Always maintain your center-of-gravity while sitting down or moving around in your wheelchair. Use a positioning belt if one is available.
Day-to-day actions will call for you to move in and out of your wheelchair, stretch for things, and bend forward. For wheelchair safety, rehearse carrying out these movements in someone’s presence before trying them independently.
Always use the wheel locks or brakes and keep a secure, well-balanced seat position when you reach, stretch, or bend forward. Never bend over between your knees or move forward in your seat to pick up anything.
Before trying to traverse ramps, slopes, inclines or declines, find out what you are capable of by first practicing with someone. Never try going up a steep slope alone. Prior to crossing a pathway, road or sidewalk, search for unequal surfaces, spills, holes or obstructions prior to going forward.
DO NOT try going up a curb or tipping your wheelchair without the aid of an attendant. It is usually safer to go around a curb rather than try to go up it. Seek out a close by ramp, curb cut or elevator.
With a power wheelchair, set the speed so that it does not exceed a speed that you can handle, especially when reversing. A few more quick safety tips for power wheelchairs – keep power OFF before transferring, using a ramp or lift. You don’t want to accidentally bump the joy stick in that position.
Wheelchair Transportation Safety Tips
If you stay in your wheelchair while traveling in a vehicle, make sure that it has a “transport safe” tag. A transport safe label assures that the wheelchair has gone through numerous crash tests and can resist a 30mph impact.
While in transit, wheelchair users must use a tie-down system to fasten the wheelchair to the floor of the vehicle.
An occupant restraint system, which is different from a positioning belt, must be employed to lessen the risk of harm during a collision.
Maintain your wheelchair in good shape for optimal safety. Check the brakes often to ensure that they are not lax and are able to keep the chair in position on an incline.
If the wheel locks don’t move easily on a manual wheelchair, lubricate them until they can easily lock and unlock.
Check the front and back wheels of a manual wheelchair to make sure they turn without sticking and that the bearings are not making any noises. A simple test you can use to see if your wheelchair is properly aligned is to push it across a flat smooth floor. If it goes straight you are ok, if not your wheels are probably out of alignment or the bearings need replacing.
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