Snow, snow, snow! This winter season has been cold, snowy, and icy! As this winter season continues, it is important to know how to best handle these snowy and icy conditions in order to prevent any slips or falls. Walking on any type of pavement that has snow or ice, no matter how short the distance, can mean potentially hazardous conditions where injuries can arise. Adopting a safe “ice walk” can be the difference between an injury and safely getting to your destination. This article will provide you the best information on how to prevent falls and slips on ice.
Put your best foot forward
The best way to prevent any type of fall is prevention, which includes choosing appropriate footwear. Here are some tips on smart footwear for snowy conditions:
- Bring two pairs of shoes: It is a good idea to bring two pairs of shoes, one for indoor/driving, and one for walking in snow and ice.
- Waterproof your shoes: Shoes that are lined or waterproof are preferable, along with thermal socks. It is important to keep your feet warm in these conditions as cold or numb feet are unable to sense and adapt to varying conditions.
- Check your soles: In order to maximize your grip, footwear should have solid, large, raised treads on the sole.
- Choose shoes with supportive features: Shoes that have firm ankle support are important for preventing your ankle from ‘rolling over.’ High supportive ankle shoes can help you feel more stable in slippery conditions.
- Take shorter steps: Though it may take you longer to get to your destination, taking shorter steps to ensure that your weight is centered will help avoid any slips or falls.
- Slow down: Remember to slow your pace when walking in snowy conditions.
- What to avoid: Leather or any other smooth soled shoes should not be used to walk outside in icy conditions.
Though you cannot control the weather, there are some things you can do to prepare for icy conditions, especially when you walk. To better prepare your balance, practice balancing on one leg as an exercise. Exercising your leg muscles is a great way to help improve your balance. Other useful tips to practice when walking in snowy conditions is to keep your hands out of your pockets when you walk (use gloves). Your arms also play a role in keeping your balance, therefore keeping them free can be helpful. Lastly, be aware of your surroundings and keep an eye out for shaded pavement where black ice or other slippery conditions may be.
What to do if you fall
Falling is never fun. However, if you do fall try to curl and roll with the fall, rather than stiffen your body. Stay relaxed, and avoid putting your hands out to save yourself, as this may cause wrist injuries. The most important thing is to be aware of your surroundings and stay safe!
If you have recently slipped, or you are suffering from an injury due to a fall consider a consult with a chiropractic doctor Shawnee, KS offers who can offer the proper therapy and advice to help alleviate your pain. Chiropractors are trained in providing treatment plans to help manage pain and heal injuries in a holistic manner.
Thanks to LifeWorks for their insights on how to prevent slips and falls in icy conditions, as well as alternative medicine.