Tips to prevent winter slips and falls
Temperatures are dropping, precipitation is falling and daylight saving time won’t roll around again for months. The cold fact is, during the dark, wet and frosty months of winter, slips, trips and falls are on the rise.
Keep your feet safely under you this season, and get the care you need just in case you do take a spill.
Prevention: 5 simple steps you can take
From sporting the correct footwear to staying alert to risks, there are simple steps you can take to prevent winter slips and falls:
1. Wear the right shoes.
In inclement weather, opt for flat shoes with slip-resistant soles, or rain or snow boots that provide traction. Even if you just pop outside to grab the paper, don’t rely on floppy house slippers to get you there safely.
2. Lighten things up with a headlamp.
The days may be shorter, but your dog doesn’t know that. For dark winter afternoons/evenings, consider a headlamp to light the way when the pup needs a break or you’re trying to get in a few extra Fitbit steps.
3. Be aware of your surroundings.
Be alert to wet floors, uneven or branch-strewn surfaces, or soggy sidewalks and driveways. Risks can lurk just below the surface. Even a light dusting of snow can hide treacherous black ice.
4. Slow down.
Slips and falls happen more often when you’re running late or in a rush. When you toss in slippery surfaces and fewer hours of daylight, the risks skyrocket. Allow plenty of time, wherever you’re going. Slow, short, flat step will ensure you arrive safely.
5. Keep it safe indoors.
Remove wet or snowy shoes as soon as you’re in the house to keep floors dry and slip-free. Shorter days also mean darker mornings, and that can create hazards indoors.
Night lights or a handy flashlight (like the one on your phone) will help create a well-lit pathway from bedroom to bathroom or kitchen, and prevent a trip on an area rug or runaway Legos.
When a fall gets you down
Accidental slips and falls can result in a variety of injuries, from minor scrapes and bumps to something much more serious. If you do take an unfortunate tumble, it’s important to know when and where to get care.
Head injuries are common with falls and can result in concussions or brain trauma. If you fall and hit your head, be sure to seek emergency medical treatment right away, especially if you lose consciousness or begin to bleed.
If you experience dizziness, nausea, vomiting or confusion following a head injury, visit your nearest emergency room right away to be evaluated.
You should also seek medical treatment you suspect a broken bone or are in serious pain that doesn’t improve after 24-48 hours of icing, taking Tylenol or Motrin, and resting the injured area.
Other fall injuries typically require minimal treatment. The friendly providers at Indigo Urgent Care are available every day from 8 am to 8 pm to treat sprains, strains, bruises and minor cuts that need stitches. And all Indigo locations offer onsite digital X-ray services to confirm or rule out a minor fracture.
If something more serious is going on, we’ll refer you to a higher level of care. We’ll even send you home with a pair of crutches, if needed.