Snow, ice and the arctic air of winter are more than inconveniences — there are major health concerns to be aware of, some which can be prevented.
Lori Schumacher, emergency medicine physician assistant at Mayo Clinic Health System, discusses a few common potential health issues to watch out for throughout the rest of winter.
Slips and falls
Slips and falls account for nearly 9 million injuries in the United States each year, per the National Safety Council. Most slips and falls occur at building entrances, on lawns, in parking lots and garages, and inside of walkways.
Watch out for uneven ground, protruding structures, holes, and debris that can cause slips, trips and falls. Also, be aware of ice- and snow-packed surfaces — they increase the risk of falling.
Some tips for preventing slips and falls:
Wear the right shoes. Properly fitted shoes increase comfort, reduce fatigue and improve safety.
Take your time. If you notice that the floor or ground doesn’t have much traction, walk slowly and be careful with each step.
Walk safely. Walk with your feet slightly pointed forward and try the “shuffle step” to prevent slips, trips and falls. Watch this video to learn more.