WINTER FALL: It may have cleared for the moment, but face it, groundhog or no groundhog, our sidewalks are still likely to be transformed into frozen tundra again this winter. And it's going to be inevitable that some of us are going to take an icy tumble or two.
There are ways and ways of falling, and even if you're not Lee Majors, you can minimize the damage if you keep your wits about you.
Now I know perfectly well from experience that it can be a matter of who-oo-ps, and you're flat on your back and don't even know how you got there: the old banana-peel syndrome. Yet experts insist that if you follow these steps, as football players, stuntpeople, skaters, parachutists and others do, you can turn a broken arm into a torn sleeve and a nasty bruise:
* Relax. Don't stiffen. Try to roll as you land.
* Don't try to stick out a stiff arm to brake your fall. (The only thing to break will be the arm.)
* Stick with your cleated boots, no matter how sick you are of them.
Walk on slippery surfaces with knees bent.
The National Safety Council has suggested that children be taught the right way to fall at an early age, as soon as they walk, in fact. And staying at home may not be the whole answer: More falls occur in the home than even on our icy walks.