How to Walk on Icy Sidewalks

Falling is a serious concern for people at any age. But for adults age 73, falls are a leading cause of injury-related death according to the National Safety Council. When you walk on ice, extra precaution is needed because your chances of slipping increase dramatically. Sometimes, you will not even see the ice on the sidewalks. Prevent falls on ice by following some specific tips.


General Fall Prevention


Stay physically healthy. Those who have good fitness levels are stronger and more flexible, according to the National Safety Council.


Keep sidewalks clear of ice. Shovel snow and ice so they do not accumulate on them. Use a dissolving agent such as rock salt on outdoor surfaces to keep surfaces dry. If you are unable to complete the work yourself, hire someone, or ask for help from neighbors or family members.


Wear shoes with sturdy soles and good treads. The outer sole of your shoes help you grip the ground as you walk. If your shoes or boots have become smooth on the bottom, wear something over your shoes or replace them.

Walking on Ice


Assume that all surfaces are slippery, so you will be aware of your surroundings and more cautious as you walk. This is also important when getting out of a car and stepping down on the ground. When you are caught off-guard by slippery surfaces, you can fall.


Keep your eyes and head up. Looking down at the ground throws off your balance and could cause you to bump into someone or something straight ahead of you. If you have glasses and look down, you might trip because your vision is compromised.


Walk like a penguin. Your center of gravity widens this way. Point your toes out and shift your weight from side to side like a penguin does; this type of walking feels, and looks, a lot like a shuffle.


Place your feet fully on the ground as you walk. It can be tempting to walk on tiptoes across ice. It is recommended that you walk with flat feet and slightly bent knees while on ice.


Keep your arms out at your side and slightly extended when on icy sidewalks. Do not put your hands in your pockets or on your hips. Think of someone walking on a tightrope and maintaining balance with his arms.