Sprains and ligament tears occur very often during the winter months. It is incredibly easy to slip on ice. So how do you go about preventing an accident from occurring? Here are a couple of hints and tips.
1. Wear Proper Shoes or Boots During Inclement Winter Weather One of our most important tips is to make sure you invest in a proper pair of shoes or boots. No matter the activity, it is critical you are prepared with the proper foot attire. Traction is everything when it comes to avoiding slips and falls. Make sure the sole of your shoes or boots provides the adequate grip you need for the terrain you are walking on. Consider traction cleats that easily attach to most shoes for improved safety when walking on icy pavement.
2. Knock the snow off your footwear. Whatever kind of shoes or boots you pick, be sure to knock the snow off of them. This will clear the grooves on the sole and will create better traction.
3. Watch Where You Are Walking Try to carry items to your side so that you can see where you are going. Do not carry items directly in front of you, as this will block your line of sight and prevent you from seeing ice that is on the pavement. Carrying smaller loads is better as it won’t disrupt your balance or center or gravity.
4. Take Slow, Deliberate Steps If you must walk outside when it is icy, take it slow. Place your foot down flat on the surface (not heel first or toe first) to increase the contact surface while keeping your weight on your back foot.
5. Wear the Proper Socks When your feet are cold, your body will be cold, because your head and feet are the two biggest outlets for body heat. Investing in thicker socks will not only help keep your feet warm, but the extra support around your ankles may prevent you from twisting your ankle on an ice patch.
6. Move Around Being inactive in cold temperature only makes you colder. Get up and move. The result of an increase in blood flow will keep you warmer and improves proper circulation in your feet. Staying active will maintain muscle that helps you move freely and keep your balance on all walking surfaces, especially ice.
7. Clear your property Keep the sidewalks and driveways clear of ice; have someone blow or shovel the snow away as needed, apply de-icing material such as salt to reduce the ice buildup on walkways.
8. Be Prepared If there’s an emergency, who will you call? Consider implementing planned check in times when the weather creates extra risks. Keep emergency phone numbers with you.
And, of course, take your time. It is important not to rush when you are walking in the winter weather. Even if you are late or trying to get somewhere quickly, be calm and cautious and step slowly.
Prevention takes planning and knowledge. If you follow these tips you may be able to prevent a serious injury from occurring.