Stay weather aware Thursday

With slick sidewalks, metro physical therapist offers tips to stay on solid ground

KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- Highways and roads weren't the only things slick Monday morning as wet surfaces refroze overnight. That was also true on sidewalks, driveways and parking lots.

The result: unplanned bumps, bruises and even trips to the emergency room in some cases.

When surfaces get slick, physical therapist Biagio Mazza with Elite Physical Therapy said it's important to know what to do to stay safe.

"Many times people think that the ground looks dry, so they step and think that it's fine," Mazza said.

But that's not always the case, and after any snowstorm, he usually sees a few new patients.

"Many people are kind of on autopilot, going from point A to point B. But the main thing is being cognizant and aware of where you're walking," Mazza said.

He said balance is key, and don't underestimate the sidewalk.

"Assume every space you are walking is going to be slick," Mazza said. "That way, if it's not, you can adjust. But if it is, you're already ready."

Wearing the right shoes and even the right coat can make all the difference.

"If you know you're going to be walking outside and it's cold and it's slick, wear a thick coat," Mazza said. "If you do fall, that may create a little bit of a buffer for you with hitting the ground."

"If possible avoid slick spots," he said. "So if there's a grassy area that you could walk on, walk on the grassy areas, so it has a little more stability to it," Mazza said.

The worst thing you can do if you are falling, Mazza said, is put your arms back to break your fall. If you are going to fall, the best thing to do is engage your core, put your arms to your chest and try to fall on your rear end.