With wet, snowy and cold weather conditions, it is important to be aware that ice may be present under your feet. This ice can be invisible to the eye and very dangerous. REMSA would like the share the following tips on how to stay safe this winter and to avoid ice-related injuries.
Seven quick tips to avoid falling on ice:
1. Wear boots or overshoes with good treads. Slick leather or plastic soles on shoes may increase the risk of slipping.
2. Don't walk with your hands in your pockets. This reduces the ability to use your arms for balance if you do slip.
3. Take short shuffling steps in very icy areas.
4. Don't carry or swing heavy loads, such as large boxes, cases or purses that may cause you to become off balance when you are walking.
5. When walking, curl your toes under and walk as flat-footed as possible.
6. Don't step on uneven surfaces. Avoid curbs with ice on them.
7. Place your full attention on walking. Digging in your pocketbook or backpack while walking on ice is dangerous.
Other tips to be aware of when walking in a potentially icy area:
• If the sidewalks and walkways are impassable and you have to walk in the street, walk against traffic and as close to the curb as you can.
• Proper gear is a must, but wearing dark winter colors can make it hard for motorists to see you, especially if they aren't expecting you.Consider wearing a brightly-colored scarf or hat, or reflective gear, especially if you have to walk in the street. And don't forget gloves, and shoes or boots with treaded soles.
• Snow that has accumulated into drifts can muffle the sounds of approaching motor vehicles. Wearing hats and scarves that cover your ears can also distort or even eliminate these sounds. Keep warm, but make sure you can hear what's going on around you.
• If you can, shop before the storm hits! If you have to shop and carry your purchases by hang, don't buy more than you can easily carry. Remember – the streets may be slippery and carrying heavy packages can impair your balance.
• When traveling with babies or small children, make sure they are dressed in brightly colored or reflective clothing. If you have to push a stroller or walk in the street, the child should be in front of you and as close to the curb as possible or, preferably on the sidewalk.
• Because of road conditions, motorists may not be able to stop at traffic signals or slow down for pedestrians. Before you step off of the curb into the street, make sure that any approaching vehicles have come to a complete stop. Also, make eye contact with the driver to assure that he or she sees you.
• Bend your knees a little and take slower steps to greatly reduce your chances of falling.
When approaching an individual who has sustained a serious injury and needs medical attention, the following tips should be used:
• Call 9-1-1.
• Do not move an injured person until medical assistance arrives unless there is a real danger of further injury (e.g. moving traffic).
• If you must move the victim, move the person as a whole, protect the victim's head at all times and watch where you are going.
• Support every part of the body if circumstances require you to lift the victim. Keep the victim's body in a straight line, do not bend them. Always use your legs, not your back, while lifting or pulling.
REMSA is a private, locally governed, non-profit emergency medical services provider serving northern Nevada since 1986. REMSA also comprises Care Flight, a regional, non-profit, air and ground critical care transport service, a Nevada-licensed, post-secondary educational institution, a state-of-the-art, fully accredited 9-1-1 dispatch communications center, a Tactical Emergency Medical Support team and community and special events EMS teams. REMSA provides quality patient care with no taxpayer support or other subsidies. For more information, visit remsahealth.com.