Chicago is off to a frigid start and winter has just begun. Along with winter cold comes snow, ice and the increased potential for slips and falls. IBJI’s Matthew Jimenez, MD, who specializes in fracture care and joint reconstruction, shares the following precautions to ensure your safety:
- For balance – keep your hands OUT of your pockets: Walk cautiously and remember that your arms help to keep you balanced, so try to avoid carrying items or walking with your hands in your pockets.
- When on ice, walk like a penguin: When unavoidable and you need to step on icy areas, take short, shuffling steps, curl your toes under and walk as flatfooted as possible. Spread your feet out slightly like a penguin to lower your center of gravity.
- Shovel ASAP: Remove snow immediately, before it becomes packed down and turns to ice. Apply non-toxic ice melt to your porch stoops, steps, sidewalk and driveway to prevent the formation of ice patches.
- Traction is vital: Wear boots with good traction or other slip-resistant footwear, you might also consider investing some ice treads that you can pull over most shoes or boots. Then walk slowly and carefully.
- Ice isn’t the only slippery surface: Always beware of black ice when driving, and when on foot watch for slippery pavement outdoors and floors when heading indoors. Tap your foot on potentially slick areas to see if slippery.
- Parking lots vs. Parking Spaces: A parking lot may appear salted but usually in the driving lanes only, the parking spaces can get quite icy so use special care when getting in and out of vehicles. It is helpful to use the vehicle for support.