By Joseph Ascher, PT, DPT
The Farmer’s Almanac predicts a long, cold, and snow storm-filled winter this season, so we want to make sure that you are prepared and able to avoid any falls that could be costly for both your health and wallet. Follow these tips to stay safe this winter.
- Walk like a penguin if you suspect icy / snowy/ slippery conditions by keeping your knees slightly bent, your feet a little wider than usual, and your arms out to the sides. Slide your feet in slow, shuffling steps, keeping your center of gravity over your feet to avoid falling.
- Invest in a warm pair of gloves to allow you to keep your hands out of your pockets and keep hands free of packages to help you balance.
- Wear slip-resistant or gripping boots when walking in icy conditions and wipe them off before walking inside. Or bring a pair of rubber overshoes with good grips to
prevent slips and falls.
- Immediately remove snow from walkways and staircases, along with applying ice melting granules
- In the city of Chicago, it is the responsibility of every owner, lessee, tenant or other person in charge of a building to keep a clear path in the winter. Dial 3-1-1 to report sidewalks that are not cleared.
- If you are falling forward or sideways, TUCK & ROLL, keeping your hands and elbows near your sides while trying to absorb the fall by rolling in the direction of your fall following contact with the ground.
- If you are falling backwards, SIT DOWN, TUCK YOUR CHIN, and SLAP THE GROUND. Specifically tuck your chin and nod your head forwards to prevent hitting your head on the ground, tuck your knees towards your chest so you can roll backwards, and with palms down / arms out to the side, try slapping the ground to take some force away from your fall.
We wish everyone a happy and safe holiday season, but know that if “Chi-beria” gets the best of you this winter, we are here to help you return you to your holiday traditions, activities and parties as soon as possible! Complimentary injury screenings are available in both our Lakeview and Loop locations by calling (773)665-9950.
Adapted from: Matsko, M.D. Chris M. “Fall Safely.” WikiHow. N.p., 2016. Web. 06 Dec. 2016.