by Carissa Wilson, Injury Prevention Coordinator, EIRMC
Old couple cross-country skiing in the woods, looking and smiling at something in the distance

During the winter, we have to be cautious of slippery ice, and it's everywhere! Icy roads, sidewalks, driveways, and parking lots cause injuries to countless people each winter. Here are a few simple things we can do to help protect ourselves.

Precautions to Take

  1. Avoid carrying heavy shopping bags.
  2. Walk like a penguin: focus on being flatfooted and on taking small steps.
  3. Keep your arms free to help you keep balance as you walk.
  4. Be extra careful when you get in and out of vehicles. Make sure your feet are under you and that you have a good hold on your vehicle for support.
  5. Wear appropriate shoes. Rubber soles are best at providing traction. Avoid high heels and leather-soled shoes.
  6. Handrails are your friend. Use them whenever available.
  7. Keep a clear path from your vehicle to your house.

What to Do If You Do Fall

Often, people think they should use their arms to catch themselves when they fall. But, the opposite is actually true because this can result in an arm or shoulder injury.

Instead, bend your knees to get you closer to the ground. Lastly, protect your head. If you are falling backward, tuck your chin in towards your chest.