With the current weather conditions, the ground is likely to become very icy, which can result in you slipping over, potentially injuring yourself. Here are some tips to avoid falling in the icy weather and what to do if you have a fall:

Tips to avoid falling in the snow:

  • avoid walking on uneven surfaces wherever possible
  • keep your hands out of your pockets when walking; this allows you to balance yourself more easily if you feel yourself starting to slip
  • on icy patches, take small, shuffling steps
  • bending your knees when walking outside can help prevent a fall
  • think about the best route to your destination and plan on taking a little extra time to get there
  • avoid rushing or taking shortcuts over areas where snow or ice removal is incomplete
  • select suitable footwear – flat footwear with rubber soles provides better traction on ice and snow than leather-soled or high-heeled shoes
  • use handrails where you can
  • avoid carrying lots of heavy shopping bags, especially on steps
  • be particularly careful getting into and out of vehicles – and hold on to the vehicle for support
  • be sure to use floor mats when entering a building to remove moisture from the soles of your shoes – this will help protect you, as well as others who follow, from having to walk on wet or slippery surfaces

If you feel yourself beginning to fall, try to do the following:

  • tuck your chin in
  • keep limbs bent focusing on protecting your head – straight limbs are more likely to break under impact
  • loosen up as you fall
  • spread out the force of your fall – falling on a single point will result in that area taking most of the damage. By spreading out the impact, you reduce the chance of serious injury to a single part of the body

There are many different injuries that you could pick up from falling on ice. Below are some of the most common injuries and some simple ways to help you treat these at home:

  • muscle sprains and strains
  • fractures, including spinal compression fractures
  • broken bones – most commonly the wrists and hips caused by falling directly onto these areas
  • back pain/injuries
  • concussion and other head injuries

What to do if you injure yourself on the ice:

  • if you think you may have fractured/broken a bone, go to A&E as soon as possible. Common signs of a broken bone are pain, swelling and deformity, numbness and discolouration.
  • for sprains and strains, follow the R.I.C.E principles:

Rest – stop an exercise or activities that will aggravate the area and try not to put any weight on the injury

Ice – ice the affected area every few hours for 20 minutes at a time

Compression – if possible, compress the injured area with a bandage to prevent further swelling

Elevation – keeping the injured area elevated can help to reduce swelling, so if you hurt your leg, sit with your leg raised on a cushion

  • after around 72 hours, any swelling may begin to decrease and you can start to alternate between ice and heat packs
  • for back pain, ice can help to relieve the initial pain. Apply ice every few hours for 20 minutes at a time. A warm bath or shower may also help to relieve the pain and some gentle stretching will help to keep the area loose
  • if the pain does not improve and you think you need further assistance, we are here to help.

Questions? Feel free to get in touch and we'll call you back.

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