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Frances Learns About Fighting Falls

Frances's Story

Frances and her parents
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Hi! I'm Frances. I had to stay in the hospital for a little while. While I was there, I learned a lot about how to keep from falling down.

Frances imagines herself riding her scooter
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At first, I wasn't sure why I had to be extra careful about falling in the hospital. I almost never fall down at home. I can run and skip. And when I ride my scooter over ramps, I don't even wobble!

Frances in her hospital room with her parents and her nurse
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My nurse at the hospital said, "Frances, even when you don't fall down at home, there are some things about hospitals that make it easier to fall down here."

I learned that some kids stay in the hospital because they don't feel very well. When you don't feel well, you might not be as strong as usual.

Another thing is, some kids need medicines in the hospital. Sometimes medicines make your balance not so good.

Plus, hospitals are full of things that aren't like the stuff you have in your house. Those things can trip you or make you slip.

But my nurse helped me learn some ways to be a fall fighter in the hospital.

Frances's hospital room, showing things that can cause falls
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Here's what I learned.

Watch out for things that might be on wheels, like the table next to the bed. If you lean on something like that, it could roll right out from under you!

Be sure to look out for cords or wires coming from the machines. Those can trip you.

Hospital floors can be extra slippery if they get wet. So if you see any drips or spills, tell a grownup so they can clean them up.

Bed controller with buttons, and Frances in grippy socks
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I learned that the hospital bed helps stop falls too. It has sides that go up when you are in bed. They keep you from falling out. And it has buttons that make the bed go up and down. You can make it low to the ground when you need to get out. There's even a button to call the nurse when you need something!

When I was in the hospital, I also wore grippy socks. They have special bumps on the bottom. The bumps stopped my feet from sliding on the floor.

Frances in bathroom, holding on to hand rails
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My nurse told me that part of being a fall fighter is letting grownups help you do things—even things you usually don't need help with at home.

So when I needed to get out of bed, I waited until a grownup was in the room. When I was in the bathroom, I let my mom check on me. I also used the handles on the bathroom wall to help me stay steady.

Frances in the hall of the hospital, pointing at a dropped toy
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When I went outside of my room, I helped fight falls in the hallway too!

I made sure to leave my books and toys in my room. That way, they couldn't distract my eyeballs. And I remembered to walk, not run. That was a little hard, because I like to get to places fast.

I was always on the lookout for things that might make me or other kids fall down. If I saw any, I told a grownup. That was easy, because I'm really good at spotting things. It made me feel good to help keep other people in the hospital safe too.

Frances as a fall-fighting superhero
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I didn't fall down when I was in the hospital. Knowing what to watch out for really helped. And now you know too!

That's Frances's story. How will you be a fall fighter? What things will you do to keep you and other people safe in the hospital?

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