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Safety Tips for Using a Walking Cane

Walking canes are designed to increase stability and provide support for people recovering from injuries and for elderly patients. As with any mobility aid, however, a cane must be used properly in order to ensure the safety of the user. The following guidelines provide safety tips and warnings to prevent injury or damage while walking with a cane.

Walking Cane

Make sure the walking cane is the right height for the user to ensure their safety.

  • Choose a cane that is the right fit for the user, both in height, weight, design, and comfort. Adjust the cane to the proper height before use. The cane should be adjusted so that the top portion of the handle touches the inside of the wrist where it meets the palm.
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  • Do not use a large base quad cane to go up or down stairs. The base may be too large to fit on the step, resulting in unstable support.
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  • Wear shoes that are comfortable and the same height as the shoe style that you wear most often when using a cane.
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  • Before using the cane, make sure the snap button protrudes fully through the selected adjustment hole. This will ensure that the cane is securely locked in position. A loose adjustment snap button could result in a fall, causing bodily injury and/or damage to the cane.
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  • Inspect the rubber cane tip regularly for cracks, wear, and other damage. Replace the rubber tip immediately if you see any signs of damage. Make sure the replacement tip is the correct size and fits tightly.
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  • Replace any broken, damaged, or worn parts immediately to prevent a fall or injury.
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  • Do not rely on the cane to support your full body weight. Walking canes are designed to provide support, increased stability, and assistance and are not designed to support the total weight of an individual.
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  • Make sure the user falls within the weight capacity limits for using the cane. Bariatric canes are available for heavier users.
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  • Read all instructions and warnings included with your walking cane before use. Failure to understand all warnings, cautions and instructions may lead to injury. Contact a healthcare professional or customer service technical advisor before use if you have any concerns or questions about your cane.
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