Slips, trips and falls are all too common during the winter months in Western New York. It’s important to use caution in the icier months–back and spinal injuries are the most common type of fall-related injury. With a little preparation and caution, some injuries can be prevented.
Avoid Winter Slips and Falls
Slow It Down
Give yourself extra time. Rushing through an icy driveway or parking lot is a surefire way to find yourself flat on your back. Take an extra moment to plan the safest path of travel. If you notice ice in your walking path, attempt to go around it. If walking on ice is not preventable take it slow, bend slightly forward and use shorter strides or shuffle your feet for added stability. Walk like a penguin!
Wear Appropriate Footwear
Just like putting winter tires on your car can provide you with added traction on the roads, a good pair of winter boots can help make a difference when walking around. Footwear with soles that are flat, and made of leather or plastic will provide little to zero traction on slick surfaces, it’s advised to use footwear specifically designed with winter in mind. Not only are winter boots warmer but they are made to provide better traction on snow and ice!
Most accidents that occur during the winter months can be prevented by using situational awareness and planning accordingly. Many slips and falls occur while exiting a vehicle, so it’s important to exit slowly and brace yourself on the vehicle for support. Be extra careful in parking lots as black ice may be undetectable. If you are worried about your driveway, throw down a little extra de-icer or sand to help break up the ice and gain traction.
Sometimes you can do everything right and still find yourself crashing to the ground. If you fall and experience severe pain that makes it difficult to stand or breathe, please consult a healthcare professional immediately. If your pain and discomfort do not subside within the next few days contact a healthcare professional. For those with a higher risk of injury (thinning bones, osteoporosis, etc.) it’s important to have any injuries examined. Don’t delay or hesitate: When in doubt, get checked out.
If you’ve had a slip or fall and are currently experiencing pain or discomfort, call the office of William Capicotto MD. Our staff is committed to providing excellence in service to get you back on your feet. Schedule a consultation today at (716) 881-0382.