Photo of Beth wearing a polar bear hat and winter gearAre you worried about falling on an icy sidewalk during the winter, but you don’t want to become a prisoner in your own home? If you are unable to take a long vacation to Arizona in the winter months and want to get out to do the things you love, I have a few suggestions to help make the journey safe.

 

 

 

Suggestions and devices for icy conditions

Some advice for Winter Walking

  • Check the weather forecast before going out.

    Photo of small round personal alarm buttons on keychain
    Personal alarms
  • Dress in layers when leaving your home. Remember also to wear a scarf, hat, and mittens or gloves.
  • Wear bright colors or reflective gear when walking. During the winter in North Dakota, it is dark most of the time and wearing black or white may not be the best option to be seen by a motorist.
  • Move slowly, paying careful attention to particularly icy spots. Make sure your center of gravity is over your support leg.
  • Keep your hands out of your pockets when walking and don’t carry bulky or heavy items.
  • Bring a flashlight to light your way during dusk or dark.
  • If you don’t carry a cell phone or alert system for emergencies, consider carrying an inexpensive alarm keychain where you can pull a pin and a very loud alarm will sound. This will bring help as long as you live near people who will hear it.

Devices to help you stay safe outside

Lights for a wheelchair or scooter

  • Monster Light Kit for scooters or power chairs
    • Cost is $113.95
    • 2 light strips and 4 light pods with LED lights
    • Use with remote controls
    • Works with battery pack

Cane tips for icy sidewalks or streets

  • Ergocap X-Treme Terrain Tip
    Photo of cane tip with ERGO CAP Winter written on it
    Photo of ERGO CAP cane tip on the ice.
    • Cost is $35.99
    • Designed by an orthopedic surgeon to provide stability and traction
    • Removable for canes for crutches
  • Vive Cane Tip
    • Cost is $11.99
    • Ideal for slippery winter conditions
    • Attaches easily to canes, crutches, or walkers with a diameter of 2 inches to 3.75 inches
    • Tip with prongs can flip up while indoors

Ice melt

Photo of bag of Road Runner Ice Melt
Bag of Ice Melt

Ice melt can be scattered on your driveway or walk to melt the ice to help prevent falls. Ice melt often comes in very large bags or buckets but can be also purchased in smaller sizes. While ice melt varies, most options will melt ice down to -15 degree. You can purchase ice melt in grocery stores, hardware stores, Walmart, Target, etc.

Ice Melt Mats

Ice melting mats for walkways/sidewalks can be plugged into an outlet and melt 1-2 inches of snow an hour. Most of the mats cost over $100, and you will want to research which mat will cover the area you are having ice or snow problems.

Ice Cleats for shoes

  • Crampon Ice Cleats
    Photo of ice cleats on a pair of shoes
    Crampon Ice Cleats
    • Cost is $25.90
    • Ideal to slip over shoes or boots
    • Easy to put on and take off
    • Helps to avoid slipping on even very slippery terrain
  • Honyao Ice Grip Traction Cleats
    • Cost is $17.88
    • Easy to slip on
    • Comes in several size options

You don’t have to feel trapped inside during October through April in North Dakota. Just take a few precautions, get out of the house, and enjoy the winter wonderland.