Winter in the Midwest…
Temperatures fall, snowflakes fall and as a result, all too often people fall too. The seasonal combination of snow and ice can make for a treacherous mix for humans on roads and walkways, especially in rural settings where long driveways and distant out-buildings make eliminating ice a difficult task.
The good news is, with mindfulness and preparation, people can outwit and prevent winter slip, sliding and falling 100% of the time.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, over one million Americans suffer an injury caused by a fall every year. The resulting trauma varies in degree, from serious head and bone injuries requiring a lengthy recovery with physical therapy, to the less serious sprains and bruises.
What can you do this winter to avoid becoming a statistic of falling while walking the dog, shoveling the drive or carrying in groceries?
Purchase a pair of ice cleats for your shoes or boots. You can keep them attached to your footwear and ready for you at the door. Human nature tells us we won’t take the time to attach the cleats for just “a quick run out to the car”– but having a pair of boots cleated and standing ready will encourage use, even for short errands outside.
Walk like a penguin! Turn your toes out a little, bend your knees slightly and take short, flat-footed steps. Keep your arms out to help maintain your balance, and avoid carrying heavy bags or packages that shift your weight and cause you to walk unevenly.
Keep a bucket of salt or sand by every door and use liberally and preventively when needed, especially on steps. Move slowly and carefully, and be aware of black ice. If walking outside in the evening, consider wearing a headlamp (instead of holding a flashlight) to keep your arms free and balanced.
Even minor spills cause bumps and bruises; help keep yourself upright this winter by being aware of the weather conditions and what could be under your feet.
To view the article in the online 2020 Winter Partners Magazine, click here.