Finding Your Footing - Minimizing Slips, Trips and Falls In Winter
Wyoming can be brutal in winter with its mix of snow, frozen patches, and slippery roads. And while we're instructed to take our time while driving around our beautiful state, we should also exercise caution while walking in the winter. Minimizing your number of falls can be a concern particularly if you have orthopedic health concerns, are elderly, or even just recovering from a previous injury. Read below to learn how you can make slips, trips and falls this winter more minimal a concern and how to proceed with caution!
Number One: Wipe Your Feet
Mom wasn't kidding around when she would yell to wipe your feet before coming in the house. While your Mom may have been trying to salvage her clean floors, there is quite a literal truth to drying your shoes before proceeding into a home. Often moisture on the bottoms of our shoes can add to concerns if we proceed into the indoors at the same speed we were walking outside. By attempting to dry your shoes, or even remove them, before proceeding into a store, a home or other public area you can minimize slipping.
Number Two: Take Your Time
When the snow begins to fall the number one recommendation from emergency responders is to take your time. The same goes for when you are on foot and trying to traverse sidewalks, parking lots, driveways or other areas, which could be slick due to thawing and a nightly refreeze. By slowing your movements and taking your time to proceed you allow your body ample time to balance and also you can pick and choose your path across the space to be more suitable for safety.
Number Three: Find Your Balance
Using your hands or another item like a shopping cart is a good way to maintain your balance as you try to make a go of getting across slick surfaces. By utilizing these assets, you can more easily keep your body upright and maintain your center of gravity. Also don't hesitate to ask for assistance: a hand, an arm of those who are walking with you. If you need help balancing, take it!
Number Four: Choose The Best Footwear Possible
What you wear can directly impact your success in traversing slick surfaces. Lower heels, rubber soles, wider bases all add up to a better ability to maintain your balance and your surefootedness in slippery situations. Not every occasion calls for comfortable footwear but packing along your change of shoes for your work day or event instead of wearing them can help you more safely traverse wide patches of ice or snow.
Number Five: Keep Your Hands and Arms Free Of Large Loads
Who doesn't try to get all the groceries into the house in one trip right? Well in the winter you may want to err on the side of making a few more trips versus trying to take more than you can. Loading yourself down makes your center of gravity off by raising it higher. This also limits your ability to use your hands and arms to maintain your balance should you lose your footing.
Have other ways of keeping yourself moving along this winter? Let us know in the comments on our Facebook Page!