Prevent Slips, Trips, and Falls this Winter

01/22/2015

Bangor, Maine — During the winter, EMMC generally sees an uptick in injuries from slips, trips, and falls. In the second half of 2014, EMMC’s Trauma Center saw 188 people admitted from falls, many of whom fell from less than three feet or standing.

There are several ways individuals can prevent falls or help minimize injuries when they do fall both indoors and outside.

“Well-lit areas are an important part of trying to prevent slips and falls,” says Amy Fenwick, MD, FACS, EMMC trauma surgeon. “Also, using instruments such as bars and handles to be able to move better can help.”

Fenwick also advises the use of proper footwear, and ensuring rugs are secured to the floor.

Then there are things that we can’t really change, such as weather.

“In the winter time, it’s very important to wear shoes that have a good tread on them, and to compensate for slippery areas by taking smaller, shallow steps, and making your gait wider,” she adds. “Another important factor is keeping your hands outside of your pockets, so if you do start to slip or fall, you can brace yourself and use your balance.”

Also, Dr. Fenwick adds it’s important to ensure snow and ice are properly removed from walkways, and that they are treated with sand and salt.