Wednesday, March 13, 2013

How to Use a White Cane Safely

Recently I created a video blog on what to look for when purchasing a white Cane. There are some problems with using a white cane, however, you do need to take care and learn how to use a cane safely.

The White Cane is a great piece of equipment for aiding your mobility. I use mine everyday and walk many miles quickly and safely.

In my couple of years using the cane I have learned a couple of valuable safety tips when using the white cane.

First, nearly all canes come with an easticated strap on the handle end of the cane. This strap is sometimes described as a wrist strap and also can be used to hold the segments of a folding cane closed when you need to break it down and store it.

NEVER use this strap as a wrist strap though. Putting your hand through the strap as you walk can be dangerous and lead to injury, a torn shoulder or even a broken arm. If when you walk at full speed the tip of the cane becomes lodged in a crack in the sidewalk or other obstruction, you are tied to the cane. The leverage can be enormous and you can easily injure yourself.

Instead of looping the wrist strap around your wrist, let it hang loose or hold it in your hand with the hand grip. This way if you hit an obstacle or obstruction your hand can slide freely down the cane or drops freely from your hand.

Also some sources say for you to hold the cane directly in front of you with the handle in the middle of your belly, above your belt buckle, if you wear a belt.

Personally I hold my cane directly at my side. It only took one incident where I hit a crack in the roadway and the cane flipped me to the ground in front of a truck to disuade me from the center of the belly style of holding my cane.

Letting your arm hang loosely by your side and allowing the cane to roll freely is more comfortable and less tiring in everyday situations too.

I hope these tips on using your white cane prove useful.

Do you have any tips or stories that you would like to share on these pages. Feel free to add your tips to the comments section below.

Checkout our canes and cane tip selection at   Low Vision Store Canes