Avoid Slips & Falls this Winter

 

Man is lying on a icy way

 

Tips for Avoiding Slips and Falls This Winter

Slips and Falls are the leading cause of nonfatal injuries in adults 45 and older, with the chances increasing during icy and snowy conditions. The New England winter can bring us rain, snow, ice, freezing temperatures and extreme wind which can make a short walk treacherous. With the winter months just upon us, it is important to start thinking about fall prevention techniques. Below you will find a list of  tips to protect yourself and loved ones from trips and falls this winter season.

 

  • Look Before You Step: The best way to keep from falling is to watch where you are stepping. Avoid anything that looks like it could be ice. Find the path least covered in snow/ice and move slowly.
  • Wear Appropriate Footwear: Be sure to wear shoes or boots with a good grip. Do not wear your dress shoes or heels. Changing out of your shoes may seem like a hassle, but it is much better than suffering the consequences of a fall.
  • Always Use Handrails: Whenever their is a railing available to you, use it! Holding onto a secure handrail can prevent a fall if you happen to slip. This is especially important on stairs.
  • Watch the Floors: Once inside it is still important to watch where you step. It is likely that snow and ice has tracked in from people’s shoes, which can turn any floor into a skating rink.
  • Don’t Tense Up: Tensing up when you fall can cause more injuries. While not easy, relaxing and not fighting a fall can prevent serious injuries. If you are falling forward, try to roll with the fall. If you are falling backwards, try to sit down.
  • Use Salt: After a snow or ice storm put down salt, ice melt or sand to increase traction on sidewalks, steps and driveways.
  • Avoid Carrying: Carrying heavy items can throw off your sense of balance. Try not to carry too much so you may leave your hands free to better balance yourself. If you need to bring something with you, try using a backpack.
  • Wear Shoes on Stairs: Falls on stairs are more likely if you just wear socks, even on carpeted stairs.
  • Invest in Ice Grippers: Ice grippers fasten to the bottom of shoes and boots. Snow can cover ice and even if you look closely, you may miss it. Grippers can sell for around $20 and can save you from a fall, so they are worth every penny! They may be found at Huberts in Lebanon and at many other stores. Dr. Lorie swears by hers!

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