Preventing falls and injuries in snow and icy weather

Winter is here and it is prime time for slips and falls that lead to serious injuries. Don’t land yourself in the emergency room or doctor’s office after taking a spill on the ice or snow. You can prevent injuries like a hip fracture, broken leg, shoulder dislocation or sprained ankle by following some simple tips.

Ways to prevents falls and spills in winter weather:

  • Check the ground for patches of ice or snow before walking from one point to another.
  • Take small steps and avoid running or walking quickly.
  • Allow extra time whether walking to the mail box or just out to your car.
  • When possible, use hand rails or hold on to something steady while navigating the ice or a snowy path.
  • Avoid carrying things to allow for better balance with your arms.
  • Select proper footwear with good traction. If possible, wear snow boots.
  • Clear sidewalks of snow and ice when possible and add a melting aide to help prevent refreezing of surfaces.
  • When coming in from outside, be sure to remove shoes or clean them thoroughly before walking on hard surfaces. Falls can happen easily indoors if your shoes are wet from the ice and snow outside.
  • Avoid walking outside on slippery walkways in the dark. It is very difficult to identify dangerous areas in the dark.
  • If possible, avoid going outside  in icy conditions if you have trouble walking or are unsteady on your feet.

It is impossible to prevent all falls and slips. But being prepared and focused when walking on snowy and icy surfaces will certainly decrease the likelihood of dangerous falls during the cold months. Being aware of your surroundings is key in avoiding slips and falls this winter season. If you do suffer a fracture, sprain or dislocation,  from a fall, be sure to visit a good orthopaedic surgeon. Prompt treatment of these injuries will ensure the best recovery.

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