Snow and Ice Safety Tips

Island wide - Island Health advises everyone, particularly seniors, to be extremely cautious when they venture outdoors in snowy and icy conditions, as they are especially at risk of suffering serious injuries from slips and falls. Don’t drive if you don’t have to - in order to reduce vehicle crashes.

Only use hospital emergency departments for urgent and acute medical issues. Emergency departments are busier than usual with slip and fall incidents, fractures and motor vehicle crash victims.

Here are some strategies to reduce the risk of falling:

•   Wear proper fitting, supportive footwear appropriate to the weather
•   Keep your centre of gravity over your feet and hands out of your pockets to maintain balance
•   Walk slowly, penguin-walk style and pay attention to where you are going
•   Use handrails when available, especially on steps
•   Avoid stepping on ice or snow if possible – or, if you must, walk where it’s crunchy if you can
•   Use a backpack instead of carrying a purse – this will improve your balance
•   Use walking aids (walkers or canes) as ordered for you by a health professional
•   Sprinkle sand or salt around your home and on sidewalks to improve traction

Snow removal:

  • Be aware of the physical strain of shovelling snow
  • Pace yourself
  • Be a good neighbour – help seniors who are not able to keep their sidewalks safe

Central/North Island media inquiries
Cheryl Bloxham

Cowichan/South Island media inquiries:
Meribeth Burton