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NHS Says Walk like a Penguin so you Don’t Slip like a Seal

A Tayside doctor is encouraging people to walk like penguins this winter due to icy conditions.

Dr Andrew Kinnon, Consultant in Emergency Medicine  is asking people to take extra care when going out over the coming months to help protect themselves from slipping and falling in the frosty weather.

He said: “Winter is often a very busy period for our Emergency Department and we often see an increase in the number of patients with broken bones due to falling in the icy conditions. This demand is on top of the ongoing challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic.  

“To help protect themselves and the NHS, we are encouraging people when they go out to ensure they dress warmly, wear sensible shoes with a good grip and take care when on icy surfaces.  

“If you want to stay safe whilst walking on icy paths, our advice is to walk like a penguin – bend the knees, point feet slightly outwards, and extend arms to each side. Walk flat footed, taking short slow steps and keep your centre of gravity over your feet. 

 “It’s important that everyone knows that the way people access A&E services has changed across Scotland to make sure everyone gets the right care in the right place. 

“If you think you need A&E but it’s not life-threatening, you should call NHS 24 on 111 first, day or night, to be directed to the right NHS service.

“We often hear from our patients that they have fallen on their own doorstep whilst doing everyday tasks such as taking out their bins or walking to their car. We would encourage people to grit areas around their home such as paths and driveways to help avoid falling. Also, please keep an eye out for vulnerable or elderly neighbours who you might be able to support.” 

There is a dedicated website www.keepwellinwinter.scot.nhs.uk which is a one-stop-shop for information about how to look after common winter illnesses at home, where to get the right care in the right place for health issues and tips on staying safe during icy weather. 

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