With the build-up of snow and ice on the roads and sidewalks, slipping and falling becomes a real concern for many people during the winter. Although we haven’t had much snow yet, it’s always a good idea to be prepared. Here are some ideas to get you thinking about fall prevention before the snow flies.
- If you go for walks outside, consider using equipment such as ski poles for better balance. You may also try crampons, metal spikes that can be attached to shoes/boots for better traction.
- Expect the unexpected. Although the sidewalk may look clear, there could be black ice. Take small steps to keep your body weight balanced over your feet.
- Have someone drop you off close to building entrances so you don’t have to walk across slippery parking lots.
- Avoid walking outdoors at night if possible. It’s harder to see hazards in the dark!
- Walk with someone else. In addition to the good company, you have someone to lean on if necessary.
- Take your cell phone with you. If you do fall and injure yourself while out walking, then you will be able to call for help.
Walking With Pets
Taking your dog for a walk poses its own challenges during the winter. It’s important to understand your pet’s temperament and make accommodations. If you have an animal that likes to pull on the leash, then you need to be extra cautious when out walking.
- Consider using a harness, gentle leader, or other equipment to help reign-in your dog’s energy.
- Walk at a slower pace and take shorter steps to improve balance.
- Know your pet’s triggers. If your dog is skittish around traffic, then walk in quieter areas and stay away from busy streets. If other dogs are problematic, try to modify your route to avoid walking past homes/yards with aggressive dogs.
- Walk during the warmest part of the day when sidewalks are less likely to be icy.
- Have a friend or family member take over the dog walking duties if you are concerned about falling.