In Canada, there are around 9000 hospitalizations (in the USA, it is much higher and close to one million total injuries) related to falling on ice or snow.
Four percent of Albertans die as a result of a fall it is due to snow or ice fall.
Regarding Calgary, our city is famous for slippery and icy roads and sidewalks in winter, especially when that sneaky cycle of snow dump, warm Chinook winds that melt the snow, then another negative temperature winds blow, making the slushy snow hard-rock ice happens!
So, it’s important to take extra care and do your due diligence to avoid slipping on that treacherous ice, as falling on ice can cause a range of injuries that swing from bruises to fractures and concussions.
Here are 19 tips to help you avoid a nasty fall:
1. Penguin Walk: This is when you keep your feet parallel to each other and take small steps. It may not be the most elegant way to walk, but it’s effective in preventing slips.
2. Duck Walk: Similar to the penguin walk, but with your feet turned out at a 45-degree angle. This helps distribute your weight more evenly and gives you more traction.
3. Shuffle: Another effective way to move your feet is to shuffle them from side to side. This helps to increase the contact area between your shoes and the ground, giving you better traction.
4. Slide Your Feet: If you’re not comfortable walking like a penguin or duck, you can try sliding your feet. This means sliding your feet along the ground instead of lifting them up with each step. This will help you keep your balance and avoid falling.
5. Walk Like a Cat: Try to keep your steps light and soft. This will help you land on your feet rather than your heels, which can cause you to slip.
6. Wear the Right Shoes: It’s important to wear shoes with good traction when walking on icy surfaces. Avoid shoes with smooth soles or high heels.
7. Use Ice Grippers: If you’re going to be walking on ice regularly, consider investing in ice grippers. These are devices that you attach to your shoes and they provide extra traction.
8. Take Small Steps: When walking on ice, it’s best to take small steps. This helps you keep your balance and avoid slipping.
9. Lean Forward: When walking uphill on ice, lean forward slightly. This helps you keep your balance and prevents you from slipping backwards.
10. Avoid Wet Shoes: If your shoes are wet, they’re more likely to slip on ice. Avoid walking in puddles, and try to keep your shoes as dry as possible.
11. Don’t Run: Running on ice is a recipe for disaster. It’s best to avoid it altogether.
12. Be Careful on Stairs: Stairs can be especially treacherous when they’re icy. Take each step slowly and carefully.
13. Avoid Crowded Areas: If you can, avoid walking in areas where there are a lot of people. This will help you avoid getting pushed or pulled and losing your balance.
14. Use Caution: The most important thing to remember is to use caution. Take your time and be careful. If you do fall, try to relax and fall backwards. This will help you avoid injury.
15. Avoid Puddles: Puddles can be deceiving, and you may not realize there’s ice or black ice under the water. Avoid puddles when possible.
16. Be Careful on Stairs: Ice can form on stairs, making them especially dangerous. Take your time and be careful when walking up or down stairs during the winter.
17. Shovel Your Walkways: Keeping your walkways and steps clear of snow will help prevent you from slipping.
18. Salt Your Walkways: Putting salt on your walkways and steps will help melt the ice and prevent you from slipping.
19. Stay Indoors: If possible, stay indoors during icy conditions. This will help you avoid slipping and falling altogether.
Winter weather can be treacherous, but following these tips can help you avoid slipping on ice. Be careful when walking on ice and snow, and take precautions to prevent falling.
Before following any advice, make sure that it is suitable for your body and health conditions.