Metro doctors seeing surge in slip-and-fall injuries with surfaces still slick

BELTON, Mo. -- The ice storm may have not been severe enough to cause widespread power outages, but it is keeping doctors busy treating a lot of patients who have slipped and fallen.

Doctors say there are some steps you can take to prevent getting hurt.

Many people think the danger is over after seeing the sun shining and melting on the pavement.

An emergency room doctor says that's not the case, as Belton Regional Medical Center has treated several people Friday morning with injuries after slipping and falling while headed outside to get in their vehicles.

Doctors say the surge in injuries often happens 24 to 48 hours after a storm has moved through. That's when more people start getting out, and they're exposed to refreezing that happens overnight.

"The first thing is: Don’t go out if you don’t need to don’t go out," said Dr. Stephanie Shustek, an emergency room physician. "The second thing is: Salt or deice your walkway or driveway after the storm. It doesn’t do any good to do it before. Deicing and salt is expensive. Kitty litter also works very well. The problem with kitty litter is it gets a little muddy. But it works just as well."

Temperatures are expected to get above freezing Saturday so that may help clear the pavement. People still need to be alert to refreezing overnight.

It can help to wear shoes with good traction and non-skid soles.

And it's important to take off wet shoes immediately when you go inside. Doctors say some injuries have happened from people slipping and falling inside while wearing wet shoes.

Young people can recover from injuries quickly, but falls are a leading cause of death for both men and women older than 65.

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