How to Use the Stairs Safely

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be careful with your steps!
be careful with your steps! (Image: www.freepixels.com, www.fotosearch.com)

Everyone, regardless of age, can be at serious risk of accidents when using the stairs. The National Safety Council reports 12,000 stair deaths per year. This makes accidents from using the stairways ranks second to automobile accidents as the major cause of unintended injuries in the United States. Falling down from stairs and suffering severe injuries can be avoided by following these steps:

Things You'll Need

  • Stairs
  • Caution

Pay careful attention to your steps. Staircase steps have variations in height so it is important that you know the distance between the two steps. Calculate the distance between each step so you know exactly how high you should raise your legs to land on the next step safely.

Avoid taking the stairs in your stocking feet, loose shoes or floppy slippers. This increases your chances of slipping down while using the stairs. Be extra careful when wearing long dresses and high-heeled shoes. Tripping on the dress and not being able to balance on the shoes will likely cause you to have an accident.

Always use the handrails. They are installed to guide the person walking on the stairs to ensure additional safety. If in any case you lose your balance while climbing up or down the stairs, holding firmly to the handrails will save you from falling down and injuring yourself severely.

Don't rush. Take your time while using the stairs. People who are in hurry are more likely to fall down than those who don't.

Avoid distractions. Talking to someone, using your cellphone, reading, looking somewhere else, etc. increases your risks of falling down the stairs. Save these activities for later when you are no longer using the stairs. You protect yourself from accident.

Pay attention to the signs close to the stairs, the clutter, and the overall surface of the stairs. Always check the stairs as you go up and down. Some stairs are being renovated and signs are put up to caution the users to pay attention. Likewise, some stairs have temporary clutter on them such as kid's toys, books, clothes, etc.

Make use of good lighting. A well-lit staircase decreases the likelihood of accidents. Turn on the lights when you are walking up and down the stairs. Do not assume you can navigate yourself very good in the dark. Accidents happen to those who are unprepared.

Ask for assistance. If you have a leg injury and using a walking aid such as a cane/crutches or you are currently suffering from arthritis, be sure to have someone assist you. This is a safer way to climb up and down the stairs without hurting yourself further.

Tips & Warnings

  • Use all your five senses all the time when using stairs.

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