Dr. Bergen is one of my inspirations in blogging, and she sets the bar high. Check out her blog at www.drbarbarabergin.com!
I cannot agree with Dr. Bergen more, when she says “respect the stairs”! Read on...
That’s right. Let’s have a national day of attention to the dangers of the staircase. And let’s use it to remind us about prevention because every one of those injuries is totally preventable! And these aren’t just sprains and strains. I see hip fractures, wrist fractures, spine fractures and associated head injuries! The statistics vary, but suffice it to say, a lot of people get hurt on the staircase. And that number doesn’t include folks who don’t show up in the ER. I don’t see the people who die. But they do! About 1,000 per year.
So here’s the bottom line. When you get to the top of the stairs, stop, look…and hold on. If it’s dark, then turn on a light! If you have stuff in your hands, transfer it to one hand so you can hold on to the handrail. Most injuries on the stairs are related to not holding on. It’s just that simple! If you have too much to hold in one hand, then take two trips or leave some for the next trip down.
Interestingly, I rarely see anyone who falls all the way down the stairs. Those people often die or break their necks. They go to the mortuary or to the neurosurgeon. Those injuries are thankfully more rare, and I think that’s because at the top of the stairs your subconscious goes, “OOOooo, scary. Be careful.” But about halfway down it becomes complacent. And it’s somewhere between the last half dozen stairs and the bottom one (which strangely is often not there) where you take the plunge. And that’s where the majority of orthopedic injuries occur. Pay attention to EVERY SINGLE STEP until you reach the bottom. Think about it. If all of you hold on to the handrail and pay attention to every step, I guarantee you won’t sustain a stairwell injury, and someday you’ll thank me!
STOP…LOOK…and HOLD ON! Let’s start now, and make every day a National Respect the Stair Day.