Now that we’re in the dead of winter, ice on the ground is pretty common. Whether you have to shovel your driveway, walk the dog, walk from the parking lot into work, or go outside for any reason, slipping and falling on the ice is something that we all want to avoid this season.
Biddulph, Huntsman & Dalling Orthopedic Surgery in Idaho Falls put together this list of ways to help you avoid falling on the ice this winter.
Wear the Right Shoes
Wearing the right shoes in the winter is so important! For one, you don’t want your feet to freeze, and for two, you don’t want to fall because you wore the wrong shoes. Wear shoes that have traction on icy surfaces – like snow boots or tennis shoes. If you have to wear dress shoes for work, wear your snow boots or tennis shoes for the commute and then change into your dress shoes when you get into the building.
Watch the Floor/Ground
Watch wear you walk. When walking outside, watch the ground ahead of you as you’re walking so you can brace yourself for an ice patch and avoid falling, or walk around it altogether. When walking inside, keep in mind that the ground outside is wet so it’s likely that some water was trailed inside. Watch for wet patches on the ground and take care to walk around them in order to avoid slipping and falling.
You can exercise to improve your balance, flexibility, and strength. Improving your balance will obviously help you stay on your feet and avoid falling. Improving your flexibility and strength will be helpful to you if you do fall because you can minimize the injury.
Avoid Carrying Things
We need our hands and arms for balance, or to catch ourselves if we do start to fall. Try to avoid carrying things when you’re walking into work or walking outside. If you do need to carry something, take a backpack or a purse to hold it in so your hands and arms are still free to help keep you balanced.
This is when your hands are helpful. If there are handrails walking up the stairs into your building (or even inside the building wear the floor could be wet), use them. It’s always better to be cautious than to take the risk of injuring yourself. If you’re concerned about hygiene and sanitation, take hand sanitizer with your or wash your hands afterward.
Salt the Ground
Use salt to clear icy driveways and walkways. If you have a sidewalk in front of your home where people are often walking, or if there is a lot of traffic on your walkway or driveway, this is definitely something you should do. Many businesses in climates with icy winters are required to ice their parking lots and walkways as well.
If you don’t have anything pressing you to go outside, then don’t. The safest place you can be during bad weather is in your own home.