The risk of a breaking a bone doubles in the winter. Did you know that in the city of Ottawa, Canada alone there are 20,000 annual visits to Ottawa emergency rooms related to falls?
Most slips in the winter are a result of slippery surfaces, wearing the wrong footwear and simple distraction. This winter has been particularly harsh in many regions of Canada. My aunt recently fell and shattered her hip so I chose to share some tips to help you get through this winter and avoid falls and fractures. Some may seem obvious, but they could help you to stay safe and healthy over the coming weeks.
- Traction versus fashion. Forgo fashion if the less attractive boots have a flat low heel and much better grip and tread.
- Be hands on. Whether going up or down steps always use the handrail especially when using outdoor staircases.
- Slow and steady. Walk slowly, carefully and take smaller steps. Avoid texting and talking on your cell phone while navigating snow, slush and ice on sidewalks.
- Get a grip. Use special care when entering and exiting vehicles–use the grab bar or other fixed objects in the vehicle for support.
- Reschedule the rendezvous. If the weather is really bad and your instincts are telling you it might not be a good idea to try to navigate the icy conditions then consider putting off the activity for another day.
- Build better bones. We are less active in winter so be sure to keep stretching and exercising in the winter months. Also be sure to have adequate calcium and Vitamin D in your daily diet.
- Be nice & clear your ice! A simple slip on a slippery sidewalk can lead to broken bones. Spread sand or salt or your walkway.