Preventing Slips and Falls this winter

Anthony Crespo
Anthony Crespo Clinic Manager at AHS

As the temperature begins to decrease inversely, the frequency of snow and ice formation increase! Because of this, there is a positive relationship between ice formation and incidences of slips and falls which could cause serious injury. We can not exactly control the weather but we can dictate means of preventing slips and falls. Here are some tips to follow when heading out this winter season!

Proper footwear.

Wearing the proper footwear is paramount. Think of your shoes like the tires on your car, you wouldn’t run thin performance tires in the snow. More than likely you would want to run all weather tires with deep treads to provide the necessary grip and traction on the roads. The same principle applies to the shoes you use, not only should they be comfortable but their tread should be rough and provide a lot of grip when walking on slippery surfaces.

Be cognizant of your surroundings

After the snowfall ends the sun typically comes out and melts a good portion creating pools of water in the day. During the night this water begins to freeze as the temperature drops and creates a very thin glaze of ice on the roads and sidewalks this is known as“black ice”. This ice formation is hard to spot and very clear. This requires you to be cognizant and aware of your surroundings until you make it to your destination

Take it slow!

The colder it gets the more tempted we are to stay in our warm beds and extend our alarm clocks a few more minutes. We all know how much minutes matter in the morning so try to prevent these time crunches. Take your time getting to your car instead of rushing to get it started, plan accordingly. Anytime you rush, there is an increased likelihood of falling. Taking smaller steps with a wider base of support decreases the likelihood of injury. When you are transitioning from different positions take extra precaution.

Improve your balance 

This is a very important tip and is something that should be addressed year round! Keeping up with overall balance and lower extremity strengthening exercises can reduce or eliminate any potential fall hazards. There are many great at home balance and strengthening exercises that can be found online. If you are not sure how to approach the exercises or you are not confident in your abilities or maybe you have muscular imbalances that are directly affecting your balance. Our physical therapists at Allied Health Solutions are here to assist you if necessary, contact us to schedule an appointment!

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