Avoiding falls during the winter months - 21 News Now, More Local News for Youngstown, Ohio -

Avoiding falls during the winter months

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CANFIELD, Ohio - It's important for people, especially seniors, to take precautions to avoid falls and it's even more crucial this time of year.

"We are all at risk during the winter seasons for falls just because of the territory and the potential to slip. But the elderly are particularly at a greater risk both because they, as we age our balance isn't as good as it use to be, as well as our bone structure tends to get more brittle. So a fall that would be trivial to someone that is younger can potentially lead to a broken bone in an elderly person," said Dr. Brad Picha with Youngstown Orthopedic Associates

Dr. Picha says when it comes to falls, injuries can be wide ranging. He commonly treats broken back bones, hip bones, as well as the injuries to the upper extremities like broken wrists and arms.

To prevent unwanted injuries, Dr. Picha recommends clearing all paths, removing as much ice and snow as you can and take your time.

"I think it is just awareness of surroundings. There is not really a proper way to walk per say. Again, it is just making sure you have adequate support in terms of both people as well as assisted devices and then trying to watch out for somebody who is at risk as well," said Dr. Picha.

Falls account for over eight million emergency room visits each year. Slips and falls account for approximately one million of those visits.

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