General risk factors for falling, in winter or in other seasons, include:
· Previous fall
· Poor vision
· Chronic conditions
· Use of multiple medications
· Fear of falling
What can be done to decrease the number of winter falls, or at least diminish morbidity from a fall? Lombard offers the following tips to share with patients and community members to help prevent or lessen injury from wintertime falls:
Though it may seem harmless to go out to get the mail in your robe, doing so increases your chances of injury or exposure if you take a tumble on an icy driveway or walk. Wear gloves, warm clothing that covers you well, and footwear with treads and good traction — even consider purchasing ice grippers for your shoes.
Immediate action steps when a fall occurs
What are the best actions for patients to take if they fall or someone nearby takes a tumble on the ice and snow?
Lombard suggests that if a winter fall occurs, patients and community members should be encouraged to follow these steps:
This article can be found in the Prairie du Chien Office Newsletter