Avoid ice injuries this winter

Winter’s ice and snow can increase the risk of injuries like slips and falls. 

But as Consumer Reports explains, you can prepare yourself—and your home—with some safety tips and products to help you through the next storm. 

First, which kind of ice melt is best, and how do you avoid damaging your driveway? 

All ice melts are salts, and rock salt, which is sodium chloride, is good down to temperatures of about 15 degrees Fahrenheit. For anything less, go with calcium or magnesium chloride.

If you’re worried about salt damaging your driveway and other walkways, CR says try cutting your ice melt with sand, which can also provide some traction. 

Keep in mind, though, that sand won’t help melt the ice, so use caution when you’re out and about in the snow and ice. 

Next, prep smart. Before a storm, lay down a thin layer of ice melt, then another during the storm. 

That will make it easier to shovel and clear away the snow and ice. 

And while you’re outside clearing the snow or just braving the weather, it’s also important to choose the right footwear. 

Lace-up shoes and boots with nonskid rubber treads can help you avoid slips and falls. They should fit snugly. 

Want even more traction? CR tried out slip-on ice cleats, also known as ice spikes, crampons, Nanospikes and Microspikes. 

They attach to your shoes with rubber harnesses and/or straps and have spikes or screw heads that dig into the ice to keep you from slipping. 

Testers tried them outside in icy conditions, even on an incline to really give the cleats a workout. 

The Stabil Stabilicers Maxx2 offered the most stable feel, though they’re relatively heavy. 

If you want to be more active and run around in the cold weather, CR says Kahtoola Microspikes are a good option. 

While they were the least stable on hard surfaces, they excelled when testers ran on snow- and ice-covered trails. 

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