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Pads Prevent Broken Bones
When Frank Bowles invented a padding system to prevent broken hips and other severe injuries, he was thinking about ways to protect fragile older senior citizens. So he was pretty surprised when a 75-year-old man who breaks horses and mules for a living called to place an order for his HTK (Hip, Tailbone, Knee) Pads.
    Though some senior citizens may be reluctant to wear his patent-pending HTK Pad in public, inventor Bowles is OK with that because 90 percent of falls occur at home. About a third of the 60 million people 65 and older have 1 to 3 falls every year. More than 300,000 are admitted to the hospital for hip fractures, which ends up being fatal for about 60,000 people.
    Bowles knows those numbers because he is on the board of a large hospital in the Dallas/Ft. Worth area. When he learned about the problem of people falling in hospitals and other care facilities, he decided to focus on that. As owner of a construction business, he is adept at solving problems.
    His first prototype was cut from his wife’s exercise mat. But like other padding systems he discovered in his research, it was not firm enough to protect the hip bone. He tried various materials and ended up with a concave design made of firm rubber that distributes impact away from the hipbone. Besides protecting the hip bone, Bowles added double thick neoprene rubber pads to protect the tailbone and knees. The neoprene is the same that is used in wet suits and is anti-microbial and can be washed. The HTK pad weighs 5 lbs. and is secured with a buckle at the waist and Velcro at the knees. It comes in seven sizes based on 22 to 44-in. waist measurements. Prices range from $389 to $409.
    “My goal when I first thought of this was to make it affordable, as most seniors are on fixed incomes,” Bowles says.
    Having just introduced the padding at the end of 2019, he’s been pleased with the response so far. The pads will be tested at the hospital where he is a board member, and ski schools are interested in them.
    Contact: FARM SHOW Followup, HTK Pad, 18484 Preston Rd., Suite 120-340; Dallas, Texas 75252 (ph 469 954-6000).

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2020 - Volume #44, Issue #2