How to Prevent Slips and Falls This Winter
In Vancouver, all you need is one cold snap and heavy rain to create dangerous conditions that set the stage for nasty accidents. From sprained ankles to broken wrists, the number of injuries caused by slips and falls increase when temperatures plummet. You can’t change the weather, however there are things you can do to prevent yourself from tumbling on icy surfaces. Keep yourself safe this winter and minimize your risk of slipping by following these six tips.
1) Wear proper footwear
The best things you can wear during winter are boots with ankle support and rubber, non-slip soles. You can also put ice grippers on your footwear for extra traction. Try to avoid shoes with plastic and leather soles. If you have to wear heels or dress shoes, pack them in your bag and slip them on when you get into work.
2) Walk like a penguin
Penguins are experts when it comes to walking on ice. You can follow in their footsteps by bending slightly and walking flat-footed with your centre of gravity over your feet as much as possible. Remember to point your feet out slightly too and take short, shuffle-like steps.
3) Keep your hands free
Keep your hands out of your pockets because if you fall, it will be much easier to catch yourself and regain balance if your hands are free. Wear gloves to keep your hands warm and always use a handrail when you see one. If you need to carry many items, it’s better to use a backpack or make multiple trips rather than carry one large load.
4) Look before you step
Keep your eyes open, watch where you’re stepping and look for paths with the least amount of snow and ice. If you see a potentially slick area that can’t be avoided, tap your foot on it and test it out first.
5) Walk on designated paths
Make sure to follow designated walkways as often as possible. If a walkway looks icy, stick to the grassy edge as it will provide more traction. Don’t try to take shortcuts as these areas are often not cleared and avoid uneven surfaces such as stairs or curbs. Roads are notorious for black ice so take extra caution when crossing the street and getting out of your vehicle.
6) Take it slow
See ice and snow? It’s best to take it slow. Plan your route out beforehand and give yourself enough time to get from point A to B. When walking, take small, slow steps and never jump between icy areas.
Recovering from a slip or fall accident
Our physiotherapists are here to help if you’re having trouble bouncing back from a slip or fall. They will work with you to create a personalized treatment plan based on your specific needs. From there, a combination of supervised exercise and manual therapy techniques will be used to help you recover from your injury faster.
Take the first step of your recovery journey by coming in for a FREE Discovery Visit. This no-obligation session gives you the opportunity to discuss your health concerns and review treatment options with the physiotherapist of your choice. It’s also a great way to get your questions answered and to find out if physiotherapy is the right path for you.