Avoid a Winter Tumble

Follow These Tips to Stay on Your Feet

In Kansas, almost 300,000 people visited the emergency room in a four-year period because of falls, according to the Kansas Department of Health and Environment. When you factor in winter weather this time of year, avoiding a tumble can be especially hard.

We want to keep you on your feet this winter. Here are some useful tips for when you venture out this winter during hazardous weather conditions:

·      Walk as though there is always snow or ice on the ground. Just because you can't see it doesn't mean it isn't there.

·      Take smaller, slower steps. This will help you keep your balance when the ground is slippery.

·      Keep walking paths clear of snow or ice. If you aren't able to shovel the snow, apply salt or sand to the ground to improve your traction.

·      Make sure to wear shoes with good traction. If you want some extra grip, you can purchase snow/ice walkers, which are shoe covers that provide added traction. You can also purchase grip covers for the tip of your cane.

·      Use a cane. Even if you don't ordinarily use a cane, it may be a good idea to have one during winter. It will give you extra stability when walking on the slippery ground.

·      Keep your hands free. If you are walking with your hands in your pockets or full of groceries, it will be harder to catch yourself if you do fall.

·      Most importantly, don't rush. Give yourself extra time to get where you are going. You know what they say, slow and steady wins the race.

MCMC offers a Stepping On class, which teaches adults ways to prevent falls, as well as strengthening exercises to improve balance and support for everyday activities. If you're interested in learning more about the fall prevention class, call 913-294-6657.

If you do slip and fall, we are here for you. MCMC's emergency care center is a Level IV trauma center with certified staff that is ready 24/7. Olathe Medical Center is the only true hospital-based ER in Olathe.

We also offer full orthopedic services at three Johnson County Orthopedics & Sports Medicine locations. The physicians provide technologically advanced diagnosis, surgical and postsurgical care for area residents. For more information, call 913-557-3800.