Woodlyn Physical Therapy - December 2018

Slipping and Falling

WHEN YOU CAN’T STOP THE FALL, ROLL WITH IT

Slick roads and icy sidewalks become part of the landscape every winter, and every year, the risk of falling is very real. For many people, avoiding a fall can be difficult enough without ice coating every walkable surface. Young or old, here are a few ways you can stay on your feet this month. If the Boot Fits The correct footwear can save you from a nasty tumble or heart-stopping slip. Finding boots that are specifically designed to keep you steady on a slippery surface is a must. It’s also a great idea to buy waterproof footwear to keep your feet warm and dry in the snow. Ice cleats can be helpful as well; they slip over your regular shoes and give you the added grip you need. If you don’t want to wear your winter boots anywhere but outside, bring an extra set of shoes with you so that you can switch once indoors. One Step at a Time It’s important to move cautiously when you’re on an icy sidewalk. Make sure to keep your feet flat while you’re walking and your hands out of your pockets, which will help you

balance should you start to slip. It also helps to spread your weight out evenly by not walking with your feet close together. Try not to be distracted when you’re walking on ice — keep your eyes forward and make sure you know where you’re placing your feet. Knowing How to Fall Unfortunately, even with all the precautions in the world, falls still happen. While no one has invented a way to trip and fall gracefully, there are a few ways you can avoid a serious injury when it does happen. If you find yourself starting to fall, lean forward to help prevent a direct impact to your spine or the back of your head. Try to roll with it, or, if you’re falling backward, try to land on your bottom. Also, try not to catch your full weight with your arms or hands, as that can lead to broken arms or wrists. If you do slip and fall this winter, it’s important to address your injury. It’s better to seek out medical attention than ignore the problem, which can only get worse the longer you put it off.

BARKING UP THE WRONG TREE?

WHEN HOLIDAY DECORATIONS BECOME SAFETY HAZARDS

Don’t Drink the Water Some live trees are sprayed with chemical preservatives to keep them fresh longer. The chemicals on the tree aren’t usually harmful, but they can leach into the water in the tree stand and make it poisonous to drink. Make sure to keep the water dish covered so thirsty pets aren’t tempted to take a sip. A Holiday Fire Hazard Did you know Christmas tree fires are over four times deadlier than fires started by other sources? Here’s what you need to do to reduce the odds of your tree going up in flames: • Set up the tree at least 3 feet away from all heat sources, including candles, fireplaces, and heat vents. • Replace any old or damaged light strings. • Check that your tree has enough water every day. • Don’t keep a live tree for longer than four weeks, and get rid of it before New Year’s Eve. If you love your live Christmas tree, you don’t have to replace it with an artificial one to have a safe holiday. Just keep an eye on your tree and use proper precaution so your family can enjoy this beautiful tradition all season long.

Hey there!

This is Mookie, and I’m so excited for the holidays. Our family does a lot of decorating every year to make the house look festive. They’ll even bring a tree inside the house! I didn’t believe Brice when she first told me — a tree inside the house sounds too wild, even for humans — but she wasn’t pulling my tail. Christmas

trees are a real thing, and they’re awesome! However, bringing a live tree inside has some risks. Here’s what I’ve learned about how to make sure your family stays safe during the holidays. Be Careful With the Needles Fir needles are mildly toxic to dogs and cats. Chewing on tree needles can irritate the inside of our mouths, causing excess drooling or even vomiting. If your pet swallows a bunch of fir needles, they can get caught in their intestines and have potentially fatal consequences. If you can, make sure your pet isn’t left alone with the Christmas tree.

Merry Christmas and happy holidays!

– Mookie

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