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Walk like a penguin for fall prevention

Last Modified: 1/09/2020

walk like a penguin

Indiana winters are notoriously unpredictable. One thing we often face is ice, which can prove quite risky for walking on sidewalks, through parking lots and up driveways. Anna Marsh-Belote, Parkview’s Director of Safety and Emergency Preparedness talks to us about the most common winter walking hazards: snow-covered ice, black ice and uneven surfaces.

Black ice

Black ice, or clear ice, form when water freezes in such a way that it appears completely clear to the eye. The clarity of the ice frequently causes the pavement below to show through, creating the illusion that no ice is present.

Black ice poses a great deal of risk to pedestrians, bicyclists and motorists, as they might not be aware there is any danger. These conditions can occur even when the surrounding temperature is above freezing as the temperature may remain below freezing in the mornings.

Tips and tricks to walking safely
  1. It's important to use caution in parking lots and on sidewalks. Be aware of your surroundings and wear proper footwear. A pair of shoes or boots with slip-resistant soles are ideal.
  2. Be careful when exiting your car. Confirm you have sound footing as you exit.
  3. When leaving your warm vehicle, the soles of your shoes may be warm too, which could melt the snow beneath your feet. This melted snow can refreeze quickly, creating a thin layer of ice between the bottom of your shoe and the ground. This is called a “micro freeze”.
  4. Remember to wipe your feet. It's a simple yet effective step in preventing falls.
  5. Reduce your risk of falling by walking like a penguin. Here are a few pointers on how to perfect your penguin plod:
  • Point your feet out
  • Keep your head up
  • Take short steps slowly
  • Extend your arms out to your sides (for balance)

how to penguin

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