With another abnormally harsh winter underway there is a constant reminder of the need for ice safety. Iowa State University provides these simple, yet effective tips for winter walking.
- Plan ahead; give yourself sufficient time and plan your route.
- Wear shoes or boots that provide traction on snow and ice: rubber and neoprene composite. Avoid plastic and leather soles.
- Use special care when entering and exiting vehicles; use the vehicle for support.
- Walk in designated walkways as much as possible. Taking shortcuts over snow piles and areas where snow and ice removal is not feasible can be hazardous. Look ahead when you walk; a sidewalk completely covered with ice may require travel along its grassy edge for traction.
- When given no choice but to walk on ice, consider the following:
- Take short steps or shuffle for stability.
- Bend slightly, walk flat-footed with your center of gravity directly over the feet as much as possible.
- Be prepared to fall.
- If you fall, fall with sequential contacts at your thigh, hip, and shoulder to avoid using your arms to protect against breakage.
- Bend your back and head forward so you won't slam your head on the pavement as your feet shoot out from under you.
- Finally, when entering buildings, remove snow and water from footwear to prevent creating wet slippery conditions indoors.
Cane users must take special precautions as well. Luckily, there are several items to assist cane users.
Spikeless Shoe Covers provide great traction on slippery surfaces and are easily attached.
Ice Grippers are an effective way to add safety to your cane for the winter. The spiked base can easily be flipped up to the side of the cane when indoors to allow for a quick and simple transition from outdoor to indoor surfaces.