Winter has arrived, and along with it comes the magic of snow-covered landscapes. However, it also brings a potential hazard that we all need to be aware of – slippery surfaces that can lead to painful slips and falls. Here are some valuable winter walking safety tips to remember while navigating icy and snowy surfaces.
1. Stay Informed
Before heading out into the winter wonderland, staying informed about the weather is essential. Keep an eye on the weather forecast to know what to expect regarding temperature changes, snowfall, and ice accumulation. Staying informed allows you to prepare and take preventive measures accordingly.
2. Choose the Right Footwear
Selecting the proper footwear is crucial to prevent slips and falls in winter. Invest in non-slip shoes or boots with excellent traction to keep yourself stable on slippery surfaces. Your choice of footwear can be your best friend in avoiding winter accidents.
3. Walk Carefully – Small Steps and Shuffling
Walking safely on icy sidewalks or snowy paths requires a unique approach. Take small steps and shuffle your feet to maintain better balance. Avoid rushing and give yourself extra time to reach your destination safely. Remember, “slow and steady” is the key to staying upright in icy conditions.
4. Keep Walkways Clear
Keeping walkways clear of snow and ice is essential for a safe winter season. Make sure to regularly salt or sand outdoor pathways and promptly remove any accumulated snow to provide a secure walking surface. Ensure that entranceways are dry inside your home, with mats in place to prevent wet floors.
5. Use Handrails
Handrails can be a lifesaver when navigating stairs, especially in icy or slippery conditions. Always use handrails for added support and stability, whether you’re going up or down stairs. This simple practice can significantly reduce the risk of accidents and injuries.
Still Not Confident Walking in a Winter Wonderland?
If you need help maintaining balance while walking on snowy or icy surfaces, GHC-SCW has resources that can help!
Our Physical and Occupational Therapy (PT/OT) team can work with you to address your concerns to help prevent falls. They can educate you on any personal risk factors you may have, and provide training and exercises that can help. Using the knowledge, tools and resources they provide, you can feel more confident facing winter walking hazards.
Want to get started working with a PT/OT specialist? Schedule an appointment with PT/OT by calling (608) 662-5060.
As we embrace the beauty of the winter season, let’s also embrace these practical winter walking safety tips to prevent slips and falls. We can all enjoy the season safely and responsibly by staying informed, choosing the proper footwear, walking carefully, keeping walkways clear and using handrails. Stay safe and savor the magic of winter!