A power chair can be an important mobility device, giving back some sense of independence. If you or a loved one uses a power chair, it is important to be aware of the safety hazards that can come with them. They can be dangerous if not used correctly, and it is important to take precautions to avoid accidents. Many power chair users have had accidents that could have been avoided if they had followed some simple safety tips. According to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, an estimated 21,800 powerchair-related injuries are treated in hospital emergency rooms each year. Here are some essential safety tips to keep in mind when using a power chair.
Be Patient with Yourself
If you are new to using a power chair, it will take some time to get used to it. Be patient with yourself and others while learning how to use it. Operating a power chair is a learning curve, so be sure to take your time. Do not try to do too much too soon. Start by practicing in a safe area, such as your home or a parking lot. Get to know the controls and how the power chair works before venturing out into more crowded areas. Once you feel comfortable operating the powerchair, you can start exploring your community. In addition, it is important to be aware of your surroundings and know your limitations. Do not try to do something you are not comfortable with or are not sure you can do safely.
Avoid Depleting Battery by 80%
Many power chair users mistake depleting their battery by 80% before recharging. This can shorten the lifespan of your powerchair’s battery and lead to costly repairs. It is essential to recharge your powerchair’s battery as soon as it reaches 20%. This will help extend the life of your power chair and keep it running smoothly. To avoid accidentally running your powerchair’s battery down, set a reminder on your phone or another device to charge it when it reaches 20%. Several power chair manufacturers also offer products that can help you monitor your powerchair’s battery level and remind you when it needs to be charged.
Turn the Chair Off When Getting in and Out
Whenever you get in or out of your power chair, be sure to turn it off. This will prevent the power chair from moving unexpectedly and injuring you or someone else. Many powerchairs have a keyed ignition, so be sure to keep the keys with you at all times. If you are getting in or out of your power chair and someone else is nearby, be sure to let them know that you are turning it off. This will help avoid any misunderstandings or accidents. A study published in the Journal of Rehabilitation Medicine found that power chair users who did not turn their powerchairs off when getting in or out were more likely to be involved in accidents. Remember to keep the keys out of reach of children to prevent them from turning on the power chair and injuring themselves.
Do Not Put Weight on Armrests or Footplates
Many power chair users put their weight on the armrests or footplates when getting in or out of the chair. This can cause the power chair to tip over and injure you or someone else. Always keep your weight centered in the seat and use your arms and legs to help you get in and out of the power chair. If you need to put your weight on something, be sure to use the handrails. Many powerchairs have handrails that can be used to help you get in and out of the chair safely. Most powerchairs also have safety features that prevent the chair from tipping over if too much weight is put on one side. However, it is always best to be safe and use the handrails whenever possible.
Use Caution in Uneven Outdoor Terrain
When using your power chair outdoors, be sure to use caution when driving on uneven terrain. This can include anything from cracked sidewalks to gravel roads. Power chairs are not designed for off-road use, so sticking to smooth, level surfaces is essential. If you must go over a bump or crack in the sidewalk, be sure to do so slowly and carefully. This Mobility Device has a suspension system that can help smooth the ride, but it is still important to use caution. Power chairs are also not designed for use in wet or icy conditions. If you must go outside in these conditions, take extra care and go slowly. Use caution when going down slopes and avoid areas where there may be slippery conditions.
Check Your Tire Inflation Regularly
It is important to check your powerchair’s tire inflation regularly. This will help extend the life of your tires and keep your power chair running smoothly. Most powerchairs have front and rear tires that need to be inflated to different levels. Be sure to check your owner’s manual for the correct tire pressure. Many powerchairs have a tire pressure monitoring system that can help you monitor your tire pressure. This system will warn you if your tires are getting low and need to be inflated. To avoid getting stranded, be sure to keep a spare tire and pump with you at all times.<.p>
Avoid Getting Your Power Chair Wet
Always avoid getting your power chair wet. This includes driving through puddles or rainstorms. Water can damage the electronics in your power chair and cause it to stop working. Cover your power chair with a tarp or other waterproof material if you go outside in wet conditions. Several companies make power chair covers that can help keep your chair dry in wet conditions, so be sure to check them out.
Following these power chair safety tips can help avoid accidents and keep yourself and others safe. Remember always to use caution when operating your power chair and be sure to follow the manufacturer’s instructions. If you have questions about your power chair or its safety features, consult your healthcare provider or the powerchair’s manufacturer.
Bayshore Medical Supply is the medical supply source for mobility scooters and power chairs in Pasadena TX, and the Southeast Houston communities. Bayshore Medical Supply has been serving the Pasadena and Southeast Houston TX area for over 20 years. We’re open Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, and Friday from 9:00 am to 5:30 pm, Thursday from 9:00 am to 8:00 pm, and Saturday from 10:00 am to 2:00 pm. Come see us at 4205 Spencer Hwy Pasadena, TX 77504.