Cold weather related injury reports increase in mid-Michigan

Covenant Healthcare says you should walk like a Penguin to avoid slips and falls.

Injuries related to this arctic blast are on the rise in mid-Michigan.

"Our Med-Express [urgent care] centers have seen an up-tick in the slips and falls due to the ice," said Wendy Yaworski, who specializes in injury prevention for Covenant Healthcare in Saginaw.

It sounds silly, but Covenant Healthcare says to prevent slips and falls, you should walk like a penguin.

"Make sure that you take things slow. Make sure that you spread your feet out a little bit more, and you put your hands out don't put your hands inside your pockets when you're walking," said Yaworski.

The elderly are most at risk from cold weather issues.

"A slip and fall can be disastrous with a fracture of the hip or the femur, that limits their mobility and their ability to actually get back up on their feet," said Dr. Michael Jaggi, Chairman of the Emergency Room at Hurley Medical Center.

Other serious issues caused by the cold include hypothermia and frostbite.

Symptoms of hypothermia include slurred speech and intense shivering.

"Pay attention to the vulnerable populations which include the elderly. What we find is that the older you are and the more medical conditions you have, you are more susceptible to cold temperatures," explained Dr. Jaggi.

If you feel pain from the cold, it's time to warm up.

"Typically when you get to frost nip or frostbite you start getting pretty severe pain in the digits the hands or the feet," said Dr. Jaggi.

You can find a list of open warming centers and shelters in Mid-Michigan here.

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