With our first snow in the books and more forecasted to come this week, winter is here. With winter comes the joys of dealing with the perils of ice and snow. I am sure everyone has had at least one slip on ice or snow that wasn’t exactly fun. Winter injuries that occur due to ice and snow can be painful and costly and the Christmas season is the worst time to be injured and broke.
There are a lot of tips and articles out there that address methods of increasing safety on the roadways during winter, but there isn’t too much talk about safety while not on the roadways. Here are a few pointers that can help you avoid costly winter injuries this year.
- Wear proper footwear: Wear shoes or boots with heavy treading and a flat bottom. Place the entire foot on the surface of the ground; check your footing before shifting your weight.
- Plan ahead: Walk consciously on icy sidewalks and parking lots. Look up to see where the next icy spots are and be aware of any vehicles near you.
- Take steps slowly: When walking down steps, take them slowly and deliberately. Plant your feet securely on each step and be sure to have a firm grip on the handrail.
- Anticipate ice: What appears to be wet pavement may be black ice, so approach it with caution. Ice will often appear in the mornings, so be more aware in the early hours.
- Wear things that help you see and be seen: Wear sunglasses so you can see. Also, bright and reflect clothing help you be seen by drivers if walking by a roadway.
- Listen: Avoid listening to music or talking on the phone while walking in icy or snowy conditions. Pedestrians need to be able to hear approaching traffic or other noises.
- Enter buildings slowly: The floors of buildings may be covered in melted snow and ice, so check the entrance and try to step on any rugs in the doorways.
- Avoid shortcuts: A shortcut path may be dangerous because it is less likely that snow and ice removal occurred.
- Look up: Be aware of what you’re walking under. Falling snow and ice can cause injuries.
Always think about these guidelines when you are gearing up for a trip out in the cold. Doing preventative salting around sidewalks and driveways around your house can really help to reduce your risk of winter injuries around the yard. Encourage your office or workplace to do the same to avoid any liability and keep everyone as safe as possible.
If you do happen to sustain a slip or fall, first make sure nothing is broken. If you are unsure, go to the nearest urgent care or emergency room for an x-ray. If you are simply a little beat up or bruised, you should give your chiropractor a call. We can determine if your injury is simply a deep bruise, an injured joint or something more serious and we have methods such as adjustments, massages and Laser Therapy that can help you reduce pain and get back to your life. Hopefully these tips can help you or a loved one avoid a painful and costly injury this season!