With winter here and snow covering many parts of the listening area, it’s important to stay safe when venturing outdoors. HSHS Good Shepherd Hospital wants to remind all Illinoisans to use caution when traveling but especially when walking. Slips and falls can cause serious harm as conditions of roads, parking lots, and sidewalks worsen in winter weather. These slips can cause injuries ranging from minor bruises, cuts, and abrasions to even more serious issues like fractures, spinal cord damage, or even concussions.
Slipping and falling on ice or snow may seem small, but can really cause serious injury, especially if you fall wrong. Here are some tips to follow for when you have to walk on ice. You should beware of wet, dark areas on the pavement. There may be thin, hard-to-see areas of ice such as black ice as a result of dew or water vapor freezing. Treat those areas as slippery. Walk slowly and take short strides, using handrails when possible to walk up and downstairs. Choose well-walked paths and avoid taking shortcuts, since those areas may not be accessible for snow or ice removal.
You should also keep your hands free and extend your arms while walking. Avoid carrying too much or placing your hands in your pockets. By doing that you will be able to keep your center of gravity from decreasing and help to maintain balance.
If you do fall and need emergency care, call 9-1-1 or visit your nearest emergency room immediately. HSHS Good Shepherd Hospital’s emergency department is prepared 24/7. For more information about HSHS visit www.hshsgoodshepherd.org.