Snow and ice lead to slip and fall concerns, we discuss when to treat at home vs. going to the hospital

JOPLIN, Mo. – We saw a mix of people getting a good deal of snow and ice and other areas, didn’t see that much. Regardless, wintry weather can still create a slippery situation if you’re out walking.

Sidewalks down here in Joplin are mostly clear, but there are still some patches of ice and that means, despite how clear it looks, you could still manage to slip and fall. Redings Mill Fire Chief Steve Coats lays out the risks. “There’s several different injuries that can take place, mostly to either the arms or the head, back of the head from the fall, depending on which direction the fall is, or ankles.”

But when should you treat it at home versus going to the hospital? “If it’s a situation where, well, it doesn’t feel too bad right now, and it starts hurting a little bit later, you may consider medical treatment, if within 48 hours the pain hasn’t gone away, you probably should seek medical treatment.”

Chief Coats says the most concerning situation, is a head injury. “Any kind of head trauma where the brain is impacted the interior of the skull, could put you into a situation where you have a concussion.”

Chief Coats says if you hit your head, even if it doesn’t hurt that much, you should seek medical attention immediately to rule out a more serious injury. He says there are some key symptoms to watch out for if you do hit your head. “They could feel nauseated, they could have a headache, they could feel really tired, hard to keep their eyes open.”

There’s a couple of simple ways to avoid a slip and fall in the wintry weather, the first, just stay home. But if you can’t…take a walk on the grassy side. “Usually grass is more porous and the ice isn’t smooth, like it would be on the sidewalk and if you have the opportunity to walk in the grass and lessen those opportunities to slip and fall.”

Chief Coats says it’s important to watch out for black ice on sidewalks, and, even if there’s snow, still take it slow, because there could be ice hidden beneath that you can still slip on.