Prevent Slip and Fall Accidents This Winter
The natural beauty of winter is hard to deny. The way the sunlight reflects off a sheet of fresh snow on a chilly winter morning is quite literally a bright spot in an otherwise gloomy season. Despite the serenity that comes with the new snow, winter weather isn’t without its hazards, as any Midwesterner will tell you. As freezing temperatures bring snowy, icy conditions, just walking around can become dangerous. This winter, be mindful of slippery surfaces and learn how you can stay safe.
Snow and ice risks
According to the Centers for Disease Control, many injuries can occur because of slipping and falling on ice-covered walkways and driveways, steps, or patios, including fractures, sprains, and strains. In some cases, injuries sustained from a fall can be fatal, particularly for those with limited mobility or in cases of head injuries sustained from a fall.
Fortunately, preventative measures can greatly reduce your risk of serious injury during the winter. As freezing temperatures bring icy conditions, remember these tips to stay safe and healthy.
- Apply de-icing agents to slippery surfaces. Chemical compounds like rock salt and liquid de-icer can melt snow and ice, eliminating the threat of falling altogether. If such products are unavailable, applying a layer of sand to slippery surfaces can offer more traction.
- Wear appropriate footwear. High heels may look nice, but they do little to provide stability on ice. Wear slip-resistant shoes or boots when walking on ice or add extra ice and snow grips to your shoes.
- Move slowly and take shorter steps. Don’t rush yourself. Walking slowly with short steps can offer more stability than long strides. In other words, walk like a penguin.
- Avoid uneven surfaces. Slopes and stairs can add an extra level of danger to already hazardous conditions. If possible, avoid uneven surfaces altogether and look for another way.
- Control your fall. If you feel yourself slipping, don’t panic. Adjusting your body to absorb the impact can greatly reduce the severity of your injury. Bend your knees to minimize the force of the impact. Avoid using your hands to break your fall as the force could fracture your hand, wrist, or arm. If possible, try to fall on your behind.