NDSU Extension - Dickey County


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Winter Weather Walking: Safety Tips

Breana Kiser, Agriculture and Natural Resource Agent

Winter is here to stay. Coming from one who has already taken their first spill this winter on the ice found scattered around the streets, sidewalks, and driveways. I wanted to share with some safe tips to keeping you upright this winter and not on your back like a stranded turtle.

Walking to and from parking lots or between buildings this winter requires special attention to avoid slipping and falling. Slips and falls are some of the most frequent types of injuries during the winter months.

No matter how well the snow and ice is removed from parking lots or sidewalks, you will still encounter some slippery surfaces when walking outdoors in the winter.  It is important for everyone to be constantly aware of these dangers and to learn to walk safely on ice and slippery surfaces.

Here are some safety tips for the icy conditions:

12-13-18 Winter Walking•    In cold temperatures, approach with caution and assume all wet, dark areas on pavements are slippery and icy
•    During bad weather, avoid boots or shoes with smooth soles or heels. Instead, wear shoes or boots that provide traction on snow and ice; boots made with non-slip rubber or neoprene with grooved soles are best.  
•    Use special care when entering and exiting vehicles; use the vehicle for support.
•    Walk in designated walkways as much as possible. Taking shortcuts over snow piles and other frozen areas can be hazardous. Look ahead when you walk; a snow-or ice-covered sidewalk or driveway, especially if on a hill, may require travel along its grassy edge for traction.
•    Point your feet our slightly like a penguin! Spreading your feet out slightly while walking on ice increases your center of gravity.
•    Bend slightly and walk flat-footed with your center of gravity directly over the feet as much as possible.
•    Extend your arms out to your sides to maintain your balance.
•    Keep your hands out of your pockets. Hands in your pocket while walking decreases your center of gravity and balance. You can help break your fall with your hands free if you do start to slip.
•    Watch where you are stepping and GO S-L-O-W-L-Y!
•    Take short steps or shuffle for stability.
•    Wear a heavy, bulky coat will cushion your fall.
•    Try to avoid landing on your knees, wrists, or spine. Try to fall on a fleshy part of your body, such as your side.
•    Try to relax your muscles if you fall. You’ll injure yourself less if you are relaxed.
Please stay safe and remember these tips to avoid any injuries. Stay safe and remember to do the Penguin Shuffle this winter!
Source www.iwif.com

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