Slippy

Another fall on snow and ice.
Not by me, by an old lady in town.
The result was she snapped her ankle.
Add a bit of snow, and we gave up on waiting for the ambulance and using a make shift stretcher carried her to a car then onto hospital.
Looking round though people were slipping like mad.

The fault was typically British.
Must look good rather than dressing practically, carrying loads of shopping bags, and rushing round.

Guessing you’re all hardened preppers and mountain men (ladies), you of course dress for the weather even about town.

Or do you?
So here are a few tips on safe footing.

Wear boots or overshoes with ice studs or spiked soles.
Forget looking fashionable, think weeks off work, no money, and PAIN!
Avoid walking in town or office shoes that have smooth surfaces, which increase the risk of slipping.
Walk consciously. Look and SEE problems like compacted snow and signs of ice.
Walk round problems not stepping over them.
An overreached step makes for an unbalanced person.

Carry minimal amounts, keep your hands free.
It may feel stupid to you macho types but the “old ladies trolley bag” is a great idea when walking in snow and ice.
NO BACK PACKS!
Fall backwards onto a frame and it may protect you or may just flex your spine into an abnormal shape.

Keep hands out of pockets and wear gloves.

Toddler step.
Little shuffling steps walking as flatfooted as possible.
If you have to use a cane or stick, watch out. Better to use a walker frame.
Better still, stay at home.

Forget the watch, if you are running late then be late.
Average waiting times in UK Accident and Emergency Departments run at 4 hours.
Don’t run or speed up to catch a bus or to “sprint” across a road.
Vehicles don’t stop well on ice despite ABS or whatever system they use.

At home.
Remove snow immediately before it becomes packed or turns to ice.
Keep your porch steps, walks and driveways free of ice with shovels and salt / sand mixes.
Cat litter works and doesn’t stain the carpets! (Well doesn’t stain mine anyway).

Falling Safely
Even when you practice safe walking habits, slipping on ice happens.
When it does, lose the baggage! (Thank me for the trolley advice later).

Tuck up into a ball.
Don’t try to break the fall with a single hand.
Tuck your head forward, chin to chest.
Lift your knees to your chest and extend your arms away from your body and “slap” the ground with your palms and forearms. This maneuver will help prevent your head, wrists and elbows from hitting the ground.

Sideways falls are the worst.
Aim to contact the floor with your forearm Not your wrist or shoulder
Your head inclined away from the fall, still curled up.

Finally.
You’ve fallen, what’s your immediate actions?
If you were unconscious or stunned 
EVEN FOR A SECOND, get TAKEN to A&E.
A shock large enough to stun you is large enough to fracture bones especially vertebrate.
Note the word fracture. That might not mean broken but well on it’s way to being so.

DON’T JUST LEAP UP.
You fell, embarrassing as it is, think about it.
The ground is slippy and you’re trying to go erect in the same piece of ice? Daft or what?

Just remember you’re not Superman (or lady).
A fall is ABNORMAL to the human body.
Add cold, wet, and shock and you could be in trouble even if the signs aren’t readily apparent to you.
Go through a process of self check. Feet, ankles, long bones, hips, spine, you get the drift?
Slowly.
Severe injury has an anesthetizing effect.
I’ve seen too many people try and stand on an obviously broken leg or not notice their shoulder is dislocated.

Shock.
Even if you are “OK”, ANY violent attack on the body causes shock.
Leaping into a car and driving off may not be the brightest idea you’ve had today.
Take your time. 
Dizziness and losing eye focus may come on suddenly after a fall.

Get yourself checked out.
ANY PAIN ANYWHERE could be the sign of a bruise (if only) BUT what if it’s a partial fracture?
Any dizziness or vomiting, lose of focus, headaches, stiffness to the neck or back?
All potential signs of a deep seated problem.
Don’t take pain killers until you have been checked out.
All you may be doing is preventing yourself and your physician from finding out the real problem!
After all, first thing they ask you is “Where does it hurt”?

Go to the toilet.
Check your pee, evacuate your bowel.
Any blood? If there is, you need help FAST.

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