Avoiding Slips and Falls This Winter
Last updated: Jan 03, 2014, 08:45 AM
By Joy Pierce Mathews for Summit Medical Group
When the season's winter storms blanket our area with snow and ice, sidewalks and parking areas become treacherous. Areas that are clear today also might melt and freeze again overnight, leaving icy patches that are difficult to see and can catch you off guard. Taking it slow and paying attention to each of your steps can help you avoid injuries from slipping and falling.
To avoid slipping and falling:
- Wear boots or overshoes made of rubber or neoprene composite with soles that grip and avoid shoes with leather or plastic soles
- Look at the ground before stepping out of your car
- Test potentially slippery areas by tapping your foot on them
- Hold onto your car for support and brace yourself with the seat back and door for stability as you step out
- Watch the ground the entire time you’re walking to avoid icy spots you might overlook
- If you must answer your phone or get something from your purse or briefcase, stop walking and don’t start walking again until you place your full attention on walking
- Keep your hands out of your pockets for better balance
Don't hold onto to another person while navigating an icy area
- If one of you slips, you're both likely to go down
- If you're holding a child's hand, be sure to pay attention to wear he or she steps as well as where you are stepping; even a child can pull you down if he or she slips
- Take short, shuffling steps and keeping your feet close to the ground on icy spots
- Avoid heavy loads, including large boxes, cases, and heavy purses that can make you lose your balance
- Avoid uneven surfaces and icy curbs
- Use walking poles with sharp ends to stabilize yourself if necessary in uncleared areas; be sure to only place them on nonslippery surfaces
If you are walking for exercise, choose routes that are cleared and salted
- Walk during the day when ice is most likely to have melted
- Avoid walking outside on days that are especially cold and icy
Teach your kids these safety steps
and practice with them
whenever you walk in snowy or icy areas!
When you visit Summit Medical Group,
please let our valet attendants help you
get safely into the building.
Our valet service is FREE.