With winter in full swing, it is important for you and your family to be aware of slip and fall prevention strategies.
- Walk cautiously and wear gloves instead of putting your hands in your pockets. Your arms help keep you balanced and if you slip, you will need them to help restore your balance.
- Wear the proper footwear. Footwear with rubber or neoprene composite soles provides better traction on ice and snow than leather or plastic. Although it may not be glamorous to wear a pair of boots, it will give you traction and keep your feet warm. If you want to wear heels or other kinds of shoes, bring an extra pair with you to change in to.
- When you step on icy areas, take short, shuffling steps, curl your toes under and walk as flatfooted as possible. Spread your feet out slightly like a penguin. Walking like a penguin on ice increases your center of gravity.
- Avoid carrying large loads while walking on snow or ice. If you do carrying a load on an icy walk and feel yourself falling, toss it out of the way so that you can try to break your fall.
- Many injuries occur when entering or exiting a vehicle. When possible, use handrails, handles – anything that will help you keep your balance.
- Help your elderly friends and relatives on snow and ice. Slips and falls can be extremely dangerous for seniors. If you are older, don’t shy away from asking others for a helping hand.
- If you are falling, do not put all the pressure on your wrists to break your fall. Putting too much pressure on your wrists can result in wrist breaks and fractures of the elbow and hand. If you feel yourself starting to fall, try to avoid landing on your knees, wrists or back. Try to fall on a fleshy part of your body, such as your side. If you are able to relax your muscles when you fall, you may injure yourself less.
If you experience an injury while falling, or develop pain that persists after falling, please feel free to schedule an appointment with one of our specialists at Orthopedic Institute to determine the type of injury and its severity.