News from Hannibal Regional Hospital


Winter brings great holidays, family time, and good food.  But it also brings cold and sometimes bad weather which means snow, ice, and staying indoors more.  Because of ice and less activity, the number of falls and accidents increases this time of year. There are some things you can do though to help decrease the risk of falling.

When going outdoors in the snow and ice:
  • Check your footwear: wear good shoes with good tread/traction.  Better traction helps keep you more stable.  If you need to wear dress shoes, bring them with you and change once you arrive at your location.
  • Keep the shovel and salt in your house so you do not have to walk across a slippery surface to get it.
  • Keep pathways clear if possible.
  • Slow down and take your time.
  • Check railings to ensure sturdiness – if you slipped would the rail support you?
  • Ask for help if you have to walk across an icy sidewalk or parking lot.
  • Have a plan: know what you would do if you fell.
  • Bring a whistle or cell phone when you leave the house so that you can alert others or call for assistance.
If staying indoors:
  • Stay active! Keeping moving even if just walking laps in the house or the hallway.
  • Strengthen your legs. Strong leg muscles keep you sturdy and can help you get up easier if you do fall.
  • Use caution if putting down extra rugs (which is common this time of year). Rugs can bunch-up or slide causing an increased risk for tripping or falling.
  • Keep smaller areas free of clutter.
  • Have adequate lighting in hallways, stairways, and pathways. Use light timers as appropriate due to earlier dark time this time of year.  In addition, use nightlights as appropriate in areas that can be used in the middle of the night (ex: bathrooms, hallways).
  • Keep extra electrical cords out of walk ways in the home.
  • Call and check on those who you know stay indoors.
Remember if traveling outdoors in bad weather to plan ahead and take your time, and if staying indoors stay active and remove potential fall risks.  For more information on Hannibal regional Hospital Physical Therapy and Sports Medicine, call 573-406-0576.

Posted in: Health Tips
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