Ice does not discriminate. Everyone is at risk of slipping and falling, and, believe it or not, there is a correct way to get around out there.
A physical therapist we spoke to said the safest way to walk on ice is to use the ‘penguin method.’
Have your legs shoulder-width apart, a slight bend in your knee and keep the weight out of your heels. Then, you’re going to waddle while you walk.
“Boots or shoes that have flat, harder soles and avoiding wearing heels is a big thing,” said physical therapist James Muir. “Wearing shoes that have a softer sole with ridges will help a little bit in decreasing the risk of slipping.”
There are also products you can buy to help reduce the risk.
Traction cleats, for instance, just slip over your shoes to give you that extra needed traction.
Another thing is ice melt. But not all ice melts are created equal and while they might help you, some ingredients are dangerous for your pet.
Calcium carbonate and calcium manganese acetate are safer than sodium chloride and potassium chloride.
If you don’t have access to pet-safe salt, a veterinarian recommended wiping their paws off as soon as you get inside.
And if your dog does ingest the ice melt, it can be deadly.
“Severe GI upset, but we can also see with sodium, we can see neurologic effects, hypernatremia can affect body functions,” said veterinarian Ron Thunshelle. “Hypercalcemia with potassium-containing salts can affect the heart, muscle tremors, those types of things.”
And whether you have two legs or four, you can still end up falling.
The No. 1 thing to do is tuck your chin, keep your hands out of your pockets and try to avoid falling with your arms outstretched.
Trinity in Minot had 15 number of falls, Sanford in Bismarck said they had 34 cases of people falling and CHI St. Alexius in Bismarck had nine fall victims.