Wintertime in Canada can be beautiful, but with the cold weather also comes snow, ice and an increased risk of falling. Today we will explore 10 simple ways that you can reduce your risk of injury from falling this winter.

1. Wearing appropriate shoes and boots. Proper footwear will ensure that you’ve got good traction in the snow and ice. If you are walking on a slippery surface, pointing your legs turn inwards like a penguin can increase the traction you get as you move.

2. Stay active. Strong muscles and bones are important in preventing falls and getting around safely.

3. Always carry a cell phone with you. You never know what might happen. Keeping a cell phone with you will ensure that you can call for help if you do end up falling with nobody around to help.

4. Keep your steps and pathways clear. Shovel the snow off as soon as you can and add some salt or sand to prevent ice building up. Double checking your railings to ensure they are sturdy is also a good idea as they may save you from an unexpected slip or trip.

5. Keep your salt and shovel indoors. This will help avoid slipping and falling on your way to the garage or storage shed to get them.

6. Have a plan. If you experienced a fall, what would you do? Being prepared in the event of a fall can assist in getting help as quickly as possible, and may even save your life.

7. Carry things with one hand while leaving the other one free to help you balance as you walk.

8. Ask yourself if you are at risk. If you think you might be at risk for falls, get a fall risk assessment from a professional.

9. Ask for help. Most people are happy to help someone navigate across a slippery sidewalk or parking lot.

10. Never keep your hand in your jacket pocket, this reduces your base of support and increases the chances of risk. Keeping hands in pocket increases reaction time and increases fall risk on your face. If you think you are at risk of fall and you need a fall risk assessment contact a physiotherapist.

While winter is just part of life in Canada, slipping and falling on snow or ice doesn’t have to be. If you think you are at risk of a fall contact us for a fall risk assessment.