Preventing Falls in the Winter

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Slushy, snowy sidewalks and icy driveways mean that podiatrists will see a rapid increase in foot and ankle injuries caused by slips and falls. When snow does hit, there’s not much chance of escaping it, but there are always ways to keep yourself safe and reduce your chance of taking a spill. Here are five ways to avoid a winter fall:

1.       Don’t rush around! If you’re trying to rush to your office on time, or hurrying home, you’re more likely to slip in some slush or miss that icy patch in the parking lot. Rushing dampens your alertness and makes you less aware of conditions around you. Rapid steps can cause you to be less stable too.

2.       Wear weather-appropriate shoes. Weather-proof shoes like boots with heavy soles and good traction are a must! High heels or fancy dress shoes might make a statement, but they can also get you a nasty ankle sprain or another injury if you’re relying on them in winter weather.

3.       Keep your hands free. Avoid carrying kids or packages around icy areas – that can throw your balance off and make you more likely to fall. Keeping your hands tucked into your coat pockets can affect your balance, so don’t forget the gloves too!

4.       Don’t be afraid to shuffle. If you must walk in an icy area, take short, shuffling steps and keep your feet as flat as you can.

5.       Just stay home! If you can avoid going out when the conditions are nasty, that is the best way to reduce your risk! On nicer days, stock up on kitchen staples so you can get by without needing to go to the store when the weather turns frightful.

Did you take a spill in the snow? First, follow the RICE method of rest, ice, compression, and elevation. Next, give your podiatrist a call! Here at Westfield Foot and Ankle LLC, our podiatrist, Dr. David R. Sullivan, can assess the injury and discuss the proper treatment methods with you. If you’ve sustained any foot or ankle injuries, call us today. You can reach our conveniently located Westfield, IN office, serving both Boone and Hamilton County, at 317-896-6655.