Slippery Sidewalks: Hospitals see uptick in ice-related injuries

Slippery Sidewalks: Hospitals see uptick in ice-related injuries

Snow that melted over the weekend is now a sheet of slippery ice, and it puts everyone at risk of falling and suffering serious injuries.

Many streets and sidewalks are very dangerous right now. In fact, one local emergency room is seeing twice as many patients for slips and falls as usual. 

Navigating slick sidewalks is a fact of life for many of us. 

"We're seeing fractured wrists, fractured shoulders, fractured hips, fractured ankles," said Dr. Louis Horwitz, with University Hospitals.

UH doctors and nurses are seeing 10 to 15 cases daily involving people getting injured after slipping on ice.

Experts say you should avoid wearing high-heeled shoes or boots outside. Try taking short, flat steps. Your heels and soles should stay in contact with the ground as long as possible.    

"Make sure you keep your sidewalk, your stairs free of debris or anything that's going to trip you up. Make sure there's good lights. Salt often," said David Cox III, a registered nurse at University Hospitals.

If possible, keep your hands free for balance.

Winter is still far from over, so we're going to be dealing with icy conditions for weeks to come.

Another practical tip: Try to eliminate distractions while you're walking.

"If you're talking or you're on the phone, you're not paying attention to where you're going or what you're stepping on. Maybe put the phone down and use it again when you're done," said Cox.

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