It may be March, but this winter season is stubbornly
sticking around. We often hear reminders about safety when driving or shoveling
heavy snow, but simply walking in a winter wonderland poses its own set of
risks. As we experience yet another several
inches of snow in central Virginia, keep the following tips in mind if you plan
to be out and about on foot:
ice – Pavement that appears to be wet may actually be black ice. Approach
it with caution. A drop in temperature of just a few degrees can cause melted
ice/snow to refreeze, making surfaces particularly slick.
hands free – Having your hands in your pockets decreases your balance and
prevents you from breaking your fall if you slip. In fact, extending your arms
out to the sides can significantly improve balance. Be sure to wear gloves or
mittens for warmth and keep those arms free!
slow, short steps – Take the time to plant your feet securely with each
deliberate step. Grab onto a railing or other sturdy fixture for extra
Improve your center of gravity – Increase
your stability by pointing your feet slightly outward and keeping your body
weight directly over your feet as much as possible.
proper footwear – Shoes with grooved rubber soles that allow the entire
surface of the foot to come in contact with the ground are safest.
safely – If you do slip, try to avoid landing on your tailbone, which can
be particularly painful and slow to heal. Falling onto a fleshy part of your
body, such as your side, is best if you can control it.
Enjoy the snow while it lasts and don’t let a pesky injury
keep you from getting out and enjoying the spring-like weather that is just
around the corner!
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