Posts for tag: safety tips
Over the river and through the woods to Grandmother’s house we go and when we get there there’s slipping and sliding up to the front door. Nothing can ruin your holiday spirit faster than a broken bone from a bad fall. One of the most common areas affected by slips and falls is the ankle. The ankle is made of the tibia, fibula (both running down the leg), and the talus. It also contains multiple ligaments and tendons, all susceptible to injury. There are some important things you can do to help avoid injury this winter.
Get the Right Shoes
The right shoes can make all the difference this winter. Ice has very little surface grip because when your shoes step down on it, the very topmost layer melts, causing a slippery surface. Having shoes with high treads (lots of deep grooves in the bottom) can help you gain traction. Flat shoes with no tread will be unable to grip the ground, meaning you risk slipping and falling. High heals are also a no-no on ice. Take them with you and put them on once you are inside the venue.
The most logical way to avoid falling on ice is to avoid walking on ice, but this is easier said than done. Properly treating walkways is a key step. Ice can be avoided or it can be melted after it forms. To avoid ice, pre-treat with a liquid solution that coats the entire surface (make sure it’s environmentally safe though or you’ll be killing your lawn in the process). You can also use ice melting products after the snow has fallen and frozen. Rock salt is a popular option, but can cause damage to concrete and plants and is lethal to pets. Try something with less impact like Magnesium Chloride. If you can’t melt the ice, you can also avoid slipping by putting down rubber mats or sand.
Hands Free/Penguin Walk
If you can’t avoid icy surfaces, then make sure you are walking correctly as you cross them. Work on your penguin walk. This means no hands in your pockets or full of extra items. Leave them free and slightly out from your sides to stabilize yourself. You also want to shuffle your feet more than pick them up and set them down. Lean forward and go slow; this keeps your weight over your front leg, giving you a better center of gravity.
If you do fall, try to do it with some grace. Or at least with some proper form. DON’T stick your hands out in front of you to stop yourself (the wrist and clavicle are also commonly broken from falls). Tuck your head toward your chest and try to fall onto a big muscle such as your thigh or upper arm. These softer body parts have more insulation to avoid breaks from sudden jarring.
If you do slip and fall on the ice and experience any ankle pain, please go see your podiatrist immediately. Sprains, fractures, and full breaks can present with similar symptoms and if you don’t treat your injury properly it could lead to problems down the road. Be smart this winter and if you know you are prone to falling, maybe stay home until the ice melts.
We always think of spring as the time of new birth, but in fact August holds the prize as the month with the highest birth rate for women in the US. Since 7/10 pregnant women report foot and ankle problems, it’s a good idea to take a look at why. Ruling out all the obvious problems stemming from the massive changes going on inside your body, one culprit that we can avoid are high heels. There are a lot of myths concerning the health risk of high heels during pregnancy, but the truth is they’re not going to magically harm you, but there are risks to wearing high heels (or really any non-supportive shoe) while pregnant. There three main reasons for this:
- Change to the center of gravity - Women gain weight during pregnancy, this is a fact that is often over-dramatized, but even if you keep a healthy diet and exercise, the life form inside you has volume and weight so you will inevitably being getting larger and heavier. This completely changes your center of gravity, pulling you forward and resulting in extra pressure on the knees and feet. High heels will also shift a woman’s center of gravity forward, compounding the problem. If you insist on high heels, choose something very low that offers support. Your feet will thank you.
- Muscles - Lot’s of fun things happen to your leg muscles when you’re pregnant. Cramps are a common symptom of muscle fatigue due to increased body weight. Hormones released during pregnancy will loosen the muscles and ligaments in the foot, so when we use our foot muscles too much with no support (like when we wear high heels), permanent changes to the foot can occur. Wear tennis shoes with Velcro or slip on shoes with arch support. If you must wear heels, do so for short periods of time and raise your feet afterwards to reduce swelling.
- Tripping - Remember that center of gravity thing we just talked about? Not only does that tilt women forward adding pressure to their feet with every step, it also makes them unstable, which can lead to a nasty fall. Technically, this can happen to anyone wearing high heels at any time, but if you’re pregnant a fall could mean serious complications for both mother and baby. It’s best to just go with a flat and supportive shoe that keeps you firmly planted on the ground.
While high heels are not the enemy, they should be avoided as much as possible during pregnancy to protect the health of everyone involved. Your muscles need support so that your feet can keep up with your kid for years to come.
The Fourth of July: a wonderful day where we celebrate all the freedoms that America has to offer, including the freedom to light up the sky with our colorful explosions of fireworks. However, it’s important to know what fireworks you are allowed to set off and how to stay safe around them.
Ohio law prohibits the use of personal fireworks except those classified as novelty and trick items. These include “(1) Devices that produce a small report intended to surprise the user, including, but not limited to, booby traps, cigarette loads, party poppers and snappers; (2) snakes or glow worms; (3) smoke devices; and (4) trick matches.” Anything larger that is purchased in the state of Ohio must be taken out of the state within 48 hours. But of course, there are many people who don’t research this kind of thing and go ahead and shoot off their own large fireworks anyways. So for those people, here is a list of basic safety tips:
- Always read the label and instructions for ignition before lighting your fireworks
- Always have a bucket of water and a hose nearby in case of fire
- Never mix alcohol and fireworks, save it until after the festivities
- Never try and make your own fireworks
- Always have an adult supervise fireworks activities, even for the small legal fireworks
- Never bring your pet to a fireworks show, they will thank you for that
- This one should be obvious, but…Always use fireworks outdoors in open areas away from people, buildings, and cars
- Always dispose of used fireworks properly including soaking them in water overnight and placing them in metal (not plastic) trash cans away from combustible material
Celebrating our freedoms is an important reminder of what it means to be an American, but it’s usually best to leave the explosions to licensed professionals while you sit back, relax, and enjoy the show. See below for a short list of Central Ohio fireworks shows and Happy Fourth of July!
· Dusk: Columbus Symphony Patriotic Pops, 160 S. High St., Columbus
· 10 p.m.: Olentangy Summer Bash, Olentangy High School, 675 Lewis Center Rd., Lewis Center
· 10 p.m.: Pataskala Fourth of July, Foundation Park, 10255 McIntosh Rd., Pataskala
· Dusk: Central College Church Freedom Celebration, Central College Church, 975 S. Sunbury Rd., Westerville
· Dusk: Heath Star-Spangled Celebration, Geller Park, 480 Cynthia St., Heath
· 10 p.m.: Granville Independence Day, Wildwood Park, 799 W. Broadway, Granville
· Dusk: Morrow County 4th of July, Morrow County Fairgrounds, 195 S. Main St., Mount Gilead
· Dusk: OSU-Newark/COTC Concert and Fireworks, Martha Grace Reese Amphitheatre, 1179 University Dr., Newark
· 9:45 p.m.: Reynoldsburg 4th of July, Civic Park, Daugherty Drive, Reynoldsburg
· 10 p.m.: Columbus Red White & Boom, near the Veterans Memorial, 300 W. Broad St., Columbus
· 10 p.m.: Whitehall July 4th Fireworks, John Bishop Park, 4920 Etna Rd., Whitehall
· Dusk: Delaware Fourth of July, public viewing along Henry Street and Ohio Wesleyan University practice fields
· Dusk: Marysville Independence Day, Union County Fairgrounds, 845 N. Main St., Marysville
· Dusk: Ostrander Fourth of July Celebration, downtown Ostrander
· Dusk: Plain City July 4 Celebration, Pastime Park, 344 N. Chillicothe St., Plain City
· Dusk: Sunbury Independence Day Celebration, Big Walnut High School, 555 S. Old 3C Rd., Sunbury
You'll be seeing a lot of green tomorrow and that's because it's St. Patrick's Day; a holiday based around drinking and dying lots of random things green. There are a lot of reasons to stay extra safe and drink responsibly on St. Patty’s Day,but this year, do it for your feet. In terms of major holidays, St. Patty’s Day isn’t celebrated as much as you’d think, but those who do celebrate tend to do so with a lot of green beer so safety should still be a priority. Alcohol related foot and ankle injuries can’t be avoided by the luck of the Irish, so make sure you know what to look out for this St. Patty’s Day.
Trips and Falls
Most people worry about trips and falls in the winter when conditions aren’t at their best. However, even if conditions are perfect, if you aren’t walking at your best, you could be risking a serious fall and potential injury. Alcohol is a factor in about 1/3 of all fall related injuries treated at hospitals. While it’s in the minority, detailed studies of these patients reveal that the severity of the injury increases significantly when alcohol is involved. A bruised ankle is much quicker to heal than a fractured one and DUI accidents result in more fatalities than non-alcohol related accidents. Be aware of your footing throughout the day and know when you’ve hit your drink limit before you surpass it. If you think your bar tab is high, just wait until you get the hospital bill from your alcohol related emergency room visit.
Gout is a form of arthritis and symptoms are triggered when people eat or drink foods high in purines. Beer is chock full of purines and should be avoided completely by those who have been diagnosed with gout. Patients who drink one beer daily are 1.5 times more likely to get gout symptoms than those that refrain. Don’t think you’re home free with other types of alcohol either. Alcohol is filtered through the kidneys and causes a rise in uric acid, leading to gout symptoms that include purple or reddish discoloration, limited joint movement, and severe pain and sensitivity in the toes, particularly the big toe. If you have been diagnosed with gout, or experience any of these symptoms within a few hours or a few days of drinking, it may be best to avoid the green beer and stick to water instead.
You probably won’t have to worry about this one if you only drink on major holidays, but long-term alcohol use can lead to nerve damage in the limbs. Those with alcohol neuropathy have permanently damaged their peripheral nerves and this leads to tingling sensations and pain in their hands and feet. Alcohol is not the only contributing factor. Vitamin deficiencies can also lead to these symptoms, but symptoms will worsen with alcohol consumption. Luckily, abstaining from alcohol can help restore most nerves back to a healthy state and vitamin levels to normal. Some damage however, may be permanent. The easiest way to avoid alcoholic neuropathy is to consume alcohol only in moderation.
Don’t Forget to Tip your Bartender
If you decide not to tip your hardworking bartender, you may be directly jeopardizing their foot health. Bars tend to open earlier and stay open later on St. Patty’s day, meaning much longer shifts for the staff. Do you know what it’s like to be standing and running around serving drinks on your feet for 10 hours at a time? They do and let me tell you, their feet are punishing them for it by the end of the night. Just the added stress of standing longer can lead to a myriad of other foot problems, all resulting in foot pain. Tip them well; they are sacrificing their health for you.
Follow these tips and maybe you can avoid a trip to the podiatrist this St. Patty’s Day. However, if you do need help with a foot or ankle injury, don’t forget that the FAAWC has walk-in hours for instant access to our doctors. Be safe and wear green to avoid a day of playful pinching.
No matter what your plans are for Halloween, make sure to think of your feet. They will thank you for it!
- Plan out your trick or treating route
If you are going trick-or-treating on Saturday, make sure you plan out your route. Wherever you happen to be, there is bound to be a lot of walking. You don’t want to end up at the complete opposite end of your neighborhood after hours of walking and have to face the long walk back in the dark while you are already tired. Try making a roundabout route that will end you at your own house. If that’s not possible, then walk straight to the farthest point of your plan and work your way back to your house or car.
- Plan for the weather
Make sure to check the weather report to see what to expect for Saturday. If there is rain, wind, or cold expected, then plan accordingly. Is it going to be hot? Try a sweat wicking sock. Socks not the right look for your costume? Find some tights or footie socks that will give you that added protection against your shoes.
- Wear socks/insulation
No matter what the weather situation is or what sort of plans you have, wear socks! If it’s going to be cold and you will be outside, make sure your socks are insulated, such as a thick wool sock. If you are going to be inside dancing the night away, look for socks that offer padding for the toes and heels. Make sure whatever you wear is appropriate and comfortable.
- Remember, the shoes don’t really matter
For most costumes, what you actually wear on your feet won’t make or break the aesthetic. If the costume calls for shy high red heels, try opting for bright red flats instead. There is always a practical way to look good. Besides, who is really looking at your feet?
- Spend extra time to find the right shoes (size too)
If the shoes will break the outfit, then spend the extra time to try and find the right ones. Don’t just settle for shoes two sizes too small because they are the first ones you find in the right color. Go to the next store, drive across town, search the internet. If the shoes really matter, then make sure they are perfect!