During the winter season, many people, of all ages, are injured due to slips and falls. These injuries often range from scrapes and bruises to broken bones. The elderly are even more at risk, as balance reactions decrease with age. The good news is that many common winter injuries can be avoided if the proper precautions are taken and by following simple lifestyle modifications.
Here are some suggestions to avoid slips, falls and painful injuries:
- Watch the weather reports to avoid travel for appointments or errands during icy conditions.
- If you have to be outside during winter weather, slow your regular pace down and take slow, deliberate steps.
- Pay attention to the surface that you are walking on. Watch for hidden patches of ice or wet leaves.
- Walk on shoveled pathways that have been treated with products to melt ice or provide traction.
- Wear proper footwear (rubber-soled boots are best).
- Park as close to your destination as possible. If it is dark, park in a well-lit area.
- Once inside, remember that this surface can also be wet from snow or water that has been tracked
- Stock up on ice melt or sand. Make sure you have a shovel near the entrance to your home, as well as one in your car.
If you do slip and fall, make sure you are not significantly injured before you try to stand up. It is helpful to try and pull up on a stable surface, such as a fence or car. Call your physician to discuss if minor injuries can be treated with rest and over-the-counter medications.
If your injuries are serious, call 911 and seek immediate emergency care.
To find a doctor or schedule an appointment, visit Steward DoctorFinder™.