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Burnaby students learn to prevent falls

Students in grades 2 and 3 at Twelfth Avenue elementary in Burnaby helped kick off Fall Prevention Week with a lesson in how to help keep their grandparents safe.

Thousands of seniors end up in hospital each year due to injuries sustained in falls, according to the Fraser Health Authority. About half of such falls take place in their own homes during normal activities, such as getting up from a chair or bed, going up or down stairs, reaching for something or using the washroom.

Across Canada, the cost of treating injuries from seniors' falls is more than $3 billion annually.

At Twelfth Avenue school, the students were taught how to be "Safety Superheroes," using a book of the same name as a teaching tool. Burnaby is the first school district to adopt the initiative which is taking place at more than nine of its elementary schools this year.

The project is hosted by the Burnaby Fall Prevention Society and funded by Fraser Health and the federal government.

The idea is to teach children about hazards in the home that are easy to fix to prevent falls among older members of their families.

“In addition to simple acts like picking-up and putting away toys and other clutter, the project helps children understand how easy and rewarding it is to be a Safety Superhero,” said Fabio Feldman, Fraser Health's manager of seniors fall and prevention, in a press release.

"As the sixth leading cause of death among adults over the age of 65, falls often occur in the home and are easily avoidable," said Ralph Sultan, the province's minister of state for seniors, in the release.

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