Power Wheel Chair Safety Tips
Follow These Power Wheel Chair Safety Guidelines
Individuals who use manual wheel chairs know first hand the mobility challenges these traditional chairs offer. That's why an increasing number of people are turning to electric wheel chairs for greater independence and quality of life.
Electric wheel chairs offer users the freedom to effortlessly move from one location to another. There's no need to wait for assistance to go somewhere or contend with sore muscles and hands that often come with manual propulsion.
Yet, as with any motorized machine or vehicle, safety considerations are paramount. Here are some safety guidelines for power chair use.
- Always use the seat belt that the electric wheelchair is equipped with. The belt works the same way as an automobile seat belt and helps protect from falls and related injuries.
- Read and precisely follow the manufacturer’s directions regarding chair operation.
- A power chair can be heavy and cumbersome, making it prone to tip in certain circumstances. Be sure to keep hands, arms, feet and legs within the framework of the chair at all times. This will help to keep the chair steady.
- Whenever possible, avoid venturing onto a busy street or cross walk. While a power wheel chair offers greater mobility, it is not very quick and could leave you stuck in the middle of a street during a light change.
- If you want to get on a sidewalk, look for curb cuts or a driveway to do so. Never try to maneuver over a curb unless your chair is specifically designed to scale curbs and steps.
- Exercise caution around young children who may want to reach for the control unit, causing the the power chair to suddenly move.
- If you are planning to traverse a path or trail, make sure that the earth is firm, dry and relatively smooth.
The best defense against an accident is simply to use common sense. If it does not sound like a good idea, then it probably isn’t.
This article was written by Peter Wallander.
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