Defensive walking is key to staying afoot during icy conditions - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Defensive walking is key to staying afoot during icy conditions

Fiveash says in addition to walking defensively, common sense is also important. (WMC Action News 5) Fiveash says in addition to walking defensively, common sense is also important. (WMC Action News 5)
OLIVE BRANCH, MS (WMC) -

Slips, trips and falls are some of the most common accidents when sidewalks are slippery. Hospitals are bracing for the thaw because when more people are out and about, the chance of injury increases.

According to experts like Dawn Fiveash of The Ice House skating rink in Olive Branch, your best bet to surviving the ice is to walk like a penguin.

"Straighten your arms out. Put them in front of you or beside you," said Fiveash. "It helps you balance yourself."

The professional skater says that if you do fall back, tuck your chin to your neck to prevent the back of your head from hitting the ground.

"Trust me, you don't want to fall wrong. I once landed on my tailbone and it wasn't pretty. If you're falling, experts recommend you do what you can to curl your body like an accordion to ease the blow," added Fiveash.

If falling forward is imminent, try not to tense up.

Fiveash said, "It's like in a car accident. They say get loose. Don't tense up. You might break more bones easily."

And, of course, the pro suggests using simple common sense.

"Don't go outside in your stilettos," noted Fiveash.

Here are a few tips to keep you on your feet: 

1. Wear shoes that grip: Slip-resistant shoes such as boots.

2. Walk like a penguin to balance your body while walking on slippery ground: Hold your arms out to your sides and take very small steps.

3. If you fall back: Tuck your head into your neck so you won't hit the back of your head: Curl your body into an accordion so you don't fall on one of your rig (skeletal) bones.

4. Land on your cushiony parts: Your rear end, the side of your body, and thighs.

5. If you fall forward: Open both palms in front of you to catch your fall so you don't fall onto your face.

6. Don't tense up: Much like a car accident, the more rigid your body is flexed as you fall, the more likely you are to break a bone.

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