The weather across the country has been cold, cold these past few days! Hopefully we are all staying warm and safe in our homes. Below freezing temperatures means an increased risk of slipping on the ice and injuries. Many people slip and fall every year on the snow and ice, and come away unharmed. But there are those who aren’t so lucky; 16,000 Americans die each year from falls, according to the National Safety Council (NSC). So, if you do have to go out in the freezing temperatures here are some tips to help you stay safe, and avoid injury:
Wear bright clothing and sunglasses: It’s easy to forget our sunglasses in the winter, but when it’s sunny and there is snow on the ground it can be very hard to see. Also, wear clothes that others (drivers especially) can see you in if you are out walking.
Plan ahead: Make sure you give yourself ample time before leaving your house. Add an extra 5-10 minutes to your schedule so that you can walk slow and take your time on icy spots.
Avoid music and phones: When you are walking on ice and snowy areas take your headphones out and avoid talking on the phone. They can distract you from concentrating while walking on the ice and can lead to slipping.
Enter buildings slowly: Most business and buildings lay down salt to melt the ice away, but there can still be hidden patches of ice.
De-Ice your walkway: Sprinkle salt down around your home to make your mornings less slippery and dangerous.
Be cautious: Avoid running. Ice can come out of no where and can be hard to see. Make sure you always look ahead, and take your time!
Although all these steps can help decrease your chances of falling, there are no guarantees. A slip and fall can happen in just a couple seconds. Make sure to protect your head. Tuck and roll and try to avoid using your hand when falling.
If you do happen to slip this winter season, and need the help of a podiatrist, make sure to call the office of Dr. Evan Merrill. At Southern Oregon Foot & Ankle, we understand your foot health needs. Make an appointment by calling 541-776-3338, or request an appointment online.