Slips, trips and falls are the most common types of accident in life affecting any age and, thankfully, often only resulting in minor bumps and bruises. However recent icy conditions have led to quite a few unexpected trips, and some of those can end up as visits to A&E.
You may feel that the only thing to do is hibernate, get the shopping brought in and stay on the sofa under your favourite blanket. But there are precautions you can take so that you can have a safe, upright Christmas.
Now some of these tips may seem obvious but it’s always worth taking a look just in case there is something you’ve over-looked.
During times when pavements and footpaths are covered in snow/ice:
- Wear sturdy footwear, with a good grip – you can always change into other footwear when you have reached your destination
- If you’ve got Nordic walking poles (or similar), use them
- Take it slowly and allow yourself extra time to get from A to B, so you don’t find yourself having to make a last minute dash to get to the bus
- Keep an eye on what is underfoot. Some places will remain icy for longer than others (e.g. places that do not get the sun)
If you do decide to go out when there’s snow and ice about, take time to think what you can do to reduce the risk of a fall such as:
- Where possible, plan a safe route from your home to where you are going, so as to avoid slopes, steps and areas that have not been cleared or gritted
- Don’t take short cuts through areas where the slipping hazards are greater
- Ask a friend or neighbour to clear a safe path from your front door
- Use rails or other stable objects that you can hold on to
- If possible, wear extra layers to protect the more vulnerable parts of your body like your head, neck and spine if you do fall
- Wipe your feet well when entering buildings
- If grit bins are available use them – but don’t remove vast quantities for your own personal use.
Remember – as well as slips and trips on pavements and in public places, many people fall over on their own footpaths and driveways. Take care in these places too.
For more tips to prevent falling in general look at the Fallproof leaflet.
Find your local support by contacting the Helpline Leeds Directory www.leedsdirectory.org
And above all, have a safe and warm Christmas.