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9 tips for avoiding injury hazards in your home

The most common place where injuries occur is in the home, according to the National Safety Council, and a majority of these injuries are preventable.

Here are nine tips to prevent injury in your home.

Clear the clutter

It may be convenient to set something on the steps to take upstairs later, but someone walking down those steps can easily trip over any items left in the way. Stairways and hallways should always be kept open and clear. Never run a power cord across a hallway or store boxes or other items in any area that is used frequently. Avoid stacking things so tall that they can topple over. The goal should always be to keep a clutter-free path throughout the home.

Keep a firm grip

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Handrails need to be installed along any set of steps, whether in the house or on steps leading into the home. Consider putting railings on both sides of steps for maximum safety going up or down the stairs. Look for other places where handrails could be helpful including inside a shower, in a bathroom or down a long hallway.

Have sufficient light

Hallways, stairways, outdoor entrances and pathways should all have adequate lights to assure a safe passage. Remember to always turn on the lights. Don’t rely on your memory to climb down the stairs at night. Consider getting motion activated lights for outdoor areas or for your bathroom so that lights come on automatically when someone is walking in the dark.

Avoid throw rugs

Although throw rugs are ideal for protecting your floors, they are dangerous trip hazards. It is best to avoid them everywhere in the house. If a rug is necessary, be sure it has a non-slip backing or is secured to the floor.

Don’t go barefoot

Kicking off your shoes may be pleasing but walking around in your socks can result in a slip and serious fall. Wear shoes or form fitting slippers when walking around your home to keep your steps sure and steady.

Keep knives sharpened

Dull knives can increase the risk of injury. Dull knives require more downward pressure to cut, which increases the chances that a knife will slip and cause an injury. Sharp knives pierce the surface more quickly and will glide through with less effort. Be sure to curl your fingers away from the cutting edge when using a knife to avoid cutting yourself.

Take care when cooking

When cooking on the stovetop, keep pot handles turned inward over the top of the stove to avoid accidentally hitting them. Always keep dry potholders handy and use them to move pans and pots. Don’t use a damp kitchen towel as a potholder because the steam created from using a damp towel or potholder can instantly cause a burn.

Keep in touch

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When home alone, keep a phone close by. If you go out to do some yard work or go for a walk, carry a phone with you. Then if a fall or injury occurs, you can quickly call for help.

Staying safe during recovery

It is hard to predict what will happen following a medical event or surgery. Tasks that were simple in the past could become challenging due to balance issues, pain or medication drowsiness. The safest path during a recovery journey is often to choose to stay in a short-term care facility where an attentive staff is ready to help around the clock, seven days a week. Everything from medical needs to meals is taken care of so all you need to do is focus on recovery.

When you are looking for the best care, consider Glenview Terrace, where the focus is always to help get you back to the independent lifestyle you desire. Focusing on healthcare excellence and safety, Glenview Terrace provides the latest infection-control precautions, including routine COVID-19 testing and monitoring. Glenview Terrace is ranked among the top 1% of all post-hospital rehabilitation and nursing care centers in Illinois by Newsweek — and has earned the Joint Commission’s Gold Seal of Approval certification for post-hospital and post-surgical care. For additional information or to arrange a personalized virtual tour, visit or call 847-729-9090.

—Judy Buchenot for Glenview Terrace