Winter in B.C. can be a time of great fun and enjoyment, or it can be a time when people may be tempted to just isolate themselves at home. We always have opportunities and challenges, and the coldness of winter gives us both – the joy of an invigorating walk on a crisp and sunny day and the desire to stay indoors when it is dreary and frigid cold.
To help long time and newly arrived people to Canada enjoy winter more, consider the following practical safety tips in order to avoid slips, trips and falls during the winter months.
- Stay active with an indoor routine that includes strength and balance exercises.
- Allow time for your eyes to adjust when going from outdoors to indoors or vice versa.
- Consider walking with a friend, family member, walking group or others.
- Potential equipment that can help include a cane or walking poles with ice tips.
- Monitor the forecast and plan ahead.
- Let people know your plans. Take a cell phone, whistle, and/or wear a personal alarm (e.g. LifeLine or Telus Living Well).
- Choose warm, stable footwear — look for well-insulated and lightweight footwear with a non-slip tread sole.
- Dress in layers so you are prepared for changing winter weather. Stay warm by wearing a hat, scarf, and gloves.
During your walk:
- If you find yourself walking on ice, move slowly and think about your next move. Keep your knees loose, shorten your strides, and shuffle your feet. Wet leaves can be as risky as ice.
- Concentrate on walking, not distractions such as chatting or the scenery
- Keep your hands free when walking to stay balanced. DO not use your phone and wear a backpack to carry your things, if needed.
- Be aware of your surroundings and scan for hazards, like ice, cracks and uneven or changing surfaces. Black ice is often not visible to the eye.
- Take extra care when stepping off the last step of stairs or off the bus. Use the railing when available for extra support.
- Be careful getting in and out of your car. Hold onto your car door or car as you get out to give yourself extra support.
- Take your time and ask for help if needed.
- Spread sand or grit on your steps and walkways. You could also try carrying a small container of sand or grit to sprinkle on icy or sloped surfaces that you can’t walk around.
For more tips, check out the full article here.