Moving into the winter weather months, the risk of falling in snow and icy conditions becomes a greater threat. Falls pose risk to all parts of the body, often necessitating knee, hip, or shoulder surgery. This winter, take preventive measures to avoid having a slip or fall interfere with your day-to-day life. Here are some actions you can take to protect yourself.
- Maintain Your Property. This is both a legal obligation and a personal safety precaution. If a visitor, welcome or otherwise, slips on ice on your property, you may be held liable. Have rock salt on hand to address ice hazards as they arise and have a plan for snow removal.
- Stay Fit. Strength and balance promoting exercises give your body more traction and ability to catch yourself if you begin to slip. Tai chi, swimming, resistance training, and simple walking are helpful exercises to make you less prone to slips and falls.
- Be Aware. In winter, more than ever, it is crucial to look where you are walking. Distractions such as texting or even talking to a friend can keep you from noticing an unexpected patch of ice in your path.
- Be Informed. Stay up to date on weather conditions in your local area to anticipate the level of risk.
- Invest in Winter Footwear. Sneakers, high heels, and flat shoes will put you at a much higher risk of falling on ice. Although winter footwear can be expensive, boots with a deep, thick tread are worth the expense to keep you safe.
- Stay Warm. In extreme cold, it is possible that your fingers and toes may lose feeling, making it harder to maneuver your body in the event of a slip. Thick, warm socks, gloves, and a hat are essential when walking in winter conditions.
If you have experienced an injury from slipping in icy conditions, or want to learn more about how to keep yourself safe from falls this winter, request an appointment with an orthopedic specialist at the Advanced Orthopedic and Sports Medicine Institute.