5 safety tips when walking on snow or ice

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LANSING, Mich. (WLNS) – As the snowfall shifts to ice and rain, officials are offering a few helpful hints to stay safe if you have to walk during this weather.

These tips are especially useful to remind young kids and share with elderly community members.

1. Plan ahead to give yourself extra time for walking, do not assume a clear path.

More than 50% of falls on snow and ice result in serious injuries, according to Iowa State University.

2. Wear shoes or boots that provide traction on snow and ice. Wear flat-soled shoes and avoid shoes with heels. Footwear made of rubber provide better traction than plastic and leather soles.

The National Safety Council estimates that falls cause more than 1,500 deaths and 300,000 injuries per year.

3. Move slowly and use special care when entering and exiting vehicles as well as buildings and climbing up or walking down stairs. Use handrails or your car for support and try to keep your center of gravity over your support leg. Keep your hands out of your pockets and remove snow or water from shoes or boots when entering buildings.

One third of slip and fall injuries on ice occurred in parking lots, according to Iowa State University.

4. Stay alert and walk on designated walkways as much as possible. Don’t take shortcuts over snow piles and look ahead when you walk. Avoid texting while walking and remember that a sidewalk completely covered with ice may require traveling along its grassy edge for traction.

5. Take short steps or shuffle for stability on ice. Bend slightly forward and walk flat-footed. Be prepared to fall and if you do use multiple contact points at your thigh, hip and shoulder instead of simply stretching out yours arms to brace yourself.

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