Avoid winter trips and falls!

The risk of falls, slips and trips increases dramatically during the winter months. Pavements can be extremely slippery underfoot due to fallen leaves, accumulations of ice, snow, and rain!

As trips and falls put pressure on accident and emergency services across the UK, we at Heale’s Clinics have gathered some winter safety tips to help prevent you injuring yourself in the cold weather.

  1. Wear the correct footwear

Make sure you wear shoes that provide adequate traction on snow and ice. They need to be lightweight and offer good support. Boots or shoes with rubber soles or grips can help keep you balanced on slippery surfaces. Your shoes or boots should fit you properly and have low, wide heels, this should lessen the chance of trips and falls.

  1. Take small, short steps

Small steps, almost walking like a penguin from side to side can help maintain your center of gravity. If it is really slippery, try slowing your steps and shuffling along without picking up your feet. If grass is available, walk on this as the texture will help prevent you from slipping.

  1. Keep your arms free

Whether it is one big item or several small ones, avoid carrying items that reduce your ability to see the ground in front of you. Ask for help or take multiple trips so that you can always see in front of you.

  1. Take extra care getting in or out of cars

Try to park your car where it is clear of anything that might cause you to slip. When getting out of your car, swing both legs out and place both feet flat on the ground before getting up as using both feet will give you more stability. Hold onto your car when getting in or out so you can maintain your balance.

  1. Wear gloves

In wintry weather, wear gloves, this stops you from putting your hands in your pockets to keep them warm. Then, if you should slip you have a better chance of regaining your balance.

  1. Plan your trip

Give yourself plenty of time to get where you need to be. The chances of falling increase when you are in a rush.

  1. Don’t get distracted

Walking in icy conditions whilst on a mobile phone will distract you from watching where you are going and could be disastrous.

  1. Use walking aids

Use handrails, a walking stick, walker, or cane. Having something stable to hold on to can make an enormous difference in providing stability.

  1. Keep up to date

Keep abreast of current weather conditions by visiting a weather service site such as the Met Office or the Highways England.

  1. Stay inside

When the weather is really bad and you don’t need to go anywhere, the advice is to stay inside!

What to do if you do find yourself falling

Whilst it is important to do everything you can to prevent a fall, sometimes it still happens! If you fall:

  • Whether it is forwards or backwards cover your head as much as possible.
  • Try to keep your body loose.
  • Bend your arms and legs to avoid injury.

After the fall if you are hurt or unable to get up, shout for help. Do not try to get up by yourself as you could further injure yourself.

If you are not hurt and feel well enough to do so, you should try to get up as safely as possible:

  • Try to roll onto your side and gently pull yourself onto your hands and knees.
  • Crawl to a sturdy object that can support you as you try to get up.
  • Sit and rest for a minute before you try to continue.

If you would like some further information or to speak to a member of our team please call us on: Hitchin 01462 420077 or Luton 01582 579687, alternatively e-mail us at: or