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Tips for Walking Safely on Ice

Ice and snow are something the people of Alaska know all too well and so is the danger of icy sidewalks. The Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates around 43,000 workers fell on ice and snow in 2014 and that doesn’t even count the number of people who slip going from their front door to the car or mailbox. What can you do to stay safe on the ice and what happens if you do fall?

Wear Proper Footwear Ice safety starts with what you put on your feet. Look for boots with soles made of rubber or neoprene composite. Stay away from fashion boots that have plastic or leather bottoms.

Learn the Right Way to Enter and Exit a Vehicle Even if you don’t see the ice, it might still be there, so get into the habit of using the body of the vehicle for support. When approaching your car or truck, grab onto it as soon as possible and keep one hand on the metal as you move around towards the door.

Follow the same pattern as you leave your car. Try to plant your feet away from ice if you do see it. Reach up and grab the frame of the door to support your body as you stand and keep one hand on the metal as you move toward the sidewalk. Be careful when closing the car door, too. Make sure your hand and fingers are clear before shutting it.

Wear Proper Clothing Make sure you have gloves on, so you can walk without putting your hands in your pocket. This way if you do slide on a patch of ice, you can use your arms to regain your balance. If wearing a scarf, push it away from the car as you get out to prevent shutting it in the car door and possibly choking if you fall.

Step Wisely Finally, as you move, take small, careful steps, taking the time to look at the ground and test possible slippery areas with one foot. Curl your toes to improve the grip of your boot, too.

If you do fall, then give us a call right away. It often takes time for injuries to show up from a fall, so the sooner our staff can assess the damage, the better.

© 2019 by Orthopaedic Research Clinic Alaska

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The American Board of Orthopaedic Surgery

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