Key Takeaways

  • Winter weather can lead to devastating slips, trips, and falls.

  • Below are five simple steps that YOU can take this winter to reduce falls.


  1. Raise awareness: Read and share our infographic—6 Steps to Prevent a Fall.
  2. Ask for a falls risk screening: When you visit your primary care provider, ask your doctor to conduct a screening for falls risk, like the STEADI fall risk screening. Use the results to discuss concerns and strategies to reduce your risk with your doctor, friends, and family.
  3. Carry kitty litter for slick surfaces: Carry a little bag filled with a lightweight kitty litter in your pocket and cast it out ahead of yourself as you're walking on slick surfaces.
  4. Give the gift of falls prevention: There are many tools that can be useful in reducing your risk for falls. Consider adding the following items to your shopping list for yourself or others: motion-sensored fall alarm systems; higher toilet seats; multifocal glasses with single vision eyeglass lenses; grab bars; firm stair railings; lights over stairways and by outside entrances; a table to set down bags while finding keys; and flashlights to attach to keys, hats, and coat buttons.
  5. “Winterize” shoes, boots, and assistive devices
  • Attach spikeless ice and snow shoe gripper sole covers to shoes for extra stability when walking on slippery surfaces. Look for these at sporting goods stores.
  • Choose winter shoes with rubber soles to maintain traction on slippery surfaces. 
  • Attach an ice gripper cane tip that has spikes on the bottom to penetrate the ice and secure a firm grip. Ice grip tips can be purchased online.
  • Try these tips for using a wheelchair safely in the snow.

Source: Mindy Oxman Renfro, PT, PhD, DPT