How to Protect Yourself From Winter Falls

The weather outside gets frightful this time of year, and caution needs to be exercised diligently, suggests Diane Simon, RN, trauma coordinator/registrar at ProMedica Defiance Regional Hospital.

“Falls are the number one cause of traumatic injury in our nation, our state and our local area,” Simon says. “Normal, everyday living has its own inherent risks of falls. Winter weather complicates that even more.”

To help you keep two feet planted firmly on the ground, Simon suggests the following tips for avoiding winter falls:

  • Focus on footwear: Rubber or neoprene soles, especially those with plenty of tread, provide better traction on snow and ice than either leather or plastic soles, making them the best choice for fall prevention.
  • Be careful with cars: Many falls occur when exiting or entering vehicles. Always make sure your footing is clear when you get out of a car.
  • Beware of black ice: It’s just as slippery as regular ice but difficult to see, making it a top winter safety concern. Stay on clear pathways or ones that have been treated with sand or salt.
  • Shovel safely: If you have to shovel, clear a level pathway to stand on so you won’t lose your balance.
  • Make winter safety a priority: Avoid rushing, and allow yourself extra time to reach your destination safely. Avoid shortcuts through snow or over icy areas.

What do you do to protect yourself from falls during wintry weather? Please share your tips in the comment section below.