Winter months in the UK paint beautiful landscapes, especially for people who love outdoor adventures. But winter also means slippery walkways and roads. A few simple precautions can keep you stable and safe reducing your risk of falling and suffering injuries on the ice and snow.
Tricks to Avoid Slips and Falls in Icy Conditions
- Have you heard of the "Penguin Shuffle"? Avoid winter slips and falls by doing this simple maneuver. It helps you maximize the contact strength between your feet and the ground. The way to do this is to focus on getting from one place to another (points A and B). Shorter, slower, flat steps are a must. Try not to lean forward at all because this may tackle your balance.
- Before even getting out, identify the best route to get to your desired destination, and mind that you may need some extra time to get there. It is always better to move at a moderate speed and keep your balance rather than speed up the pace. Allow yourself to be slower. Walking too quickly on a slippery sidewalk equals a probable fall.
- Find your most suitable footwear - rubbery boots ensure stable traction on icy and snowy surfaces. Avoid wearing high heels and flats. These are prone to slips and may tackle you down on their own. Use handrails anywhere you can, but don't forget to sanitize later. Also, try to avoid carrying heavy bags, especially when going up or down icy steps.
- Before going out, try practicing balance exercises if your physical condition and health allow this. A strong, steady body can respond better to balance failure and be able to prevent a fall. Such exercises are: standing on one leg and raising the other leg to the side or behind you, standing up and sitting down from a chair without using your hands, and the like. Home exercises are crucial to staying strong.
- Fiding the right mobility aid that can help you preserve your balance is one of the most important things you must consider. Different mobility conditions ask for a different type of assistance, which is why you must consult your orthopedist about which one they recommend. If you already have a diagnosis, you can always speak to our expert professionals who will be happy to assist you with your decision and find you the best and safest aid to get you through the wintery slips. You can always get an extra grip for canes, walkers, and crutches.
What to Do in Case You Fall?
First of all, we'd like to point out that people over 75 years of age mark the highest rates of TBI-related (Traumatic Brain Injury) hospitalizations, but this does not mean that the rest of us are safe. Winter weather mandates that we are cautious and try and prevent falls and slips as much as possible. However, in case of an inevitable fall, here are some things to watch out for:
- Symptoms of severe injury to any part of the body. If you feel a throbbing pain that does not go away, please consult your doctor immediately. It may be an indication of a fracture or a more serious sprain.
- Symptoms of a mild head injury. If you feel a persistent low-grade headache accompanied by trouble concentrating, remembering things, making decisions, and solving problems or even mood changes, please consult your doctor.
- Symptoms of a moderate or severe head injury include persistent or worsening headache accompanied by nausea or vomiting, possible dilation of one or both pupils, slurred speech and loss of coordination, and more. If you have any of the above symptoms see your provider immediately.