Prevent falls in nasty weather
The possibility of another coating of ice and snow is bearing down on North Texas. If you must go out, follow tips from Nicoleta Bugnariu, PT, PhD, Associate Dean at the UNT Health Science Center in Fort Worth:
- Beware of an invisible sheet of ice – it might be under snow or on top of an apparently clear surface.
- Wear flat shoes with slip-resistant soles or rain/snow boots.
- Bend your knees slightly with feet wide apart and arms out to your sides.
- Take slow, short, flat steps. Keep heels and soles on the ground as long as possible.
- Don’t carry heavy things.
- Use handrails.
- Use sidewalks, not the street.
- Wear bright/reflective clothing.
- Keep your head warm, but don’t restrict your vision.
- Beware ice chunks sliding off buildings, which kill hundreds annually.
Falling forward? Tuck in your chin to protect your head as much as possible and try to roll with the fall.
Falling backward? Don’t use your arms or hands to break your fall. You may fracture a fragile bone. Land on a “padded” body part, like your buttocks.
Once you’re safely indoors, remove shoes or boots immediately, so melting snow won’t send you spinning.