RALEIGH — Slippery sidewalks are sending people airborne, only to land in the doctor's office.
Amanda Hooker wiped out on an icy patch, leaving her with a bruised ego and a severely sprained ankle.
"I got up really quickly because I thought, 'This is so embarrassing,' but then I realized I was pretty hurt," Hooker said.
As roads and parking lots thaw out, and the temperature drops below freezing, a thin layer of ice forms, forcing people to take baby steps for fear of losing their footing. Not everyone, though, has mastered the feat of walking in icy conditions.
Dr. Cary McDonald says the hospital has seen close to 100 ice-related injuries in the last week alone. That is three to five times the usual amount.
"It's really hard to fall easily without hurting something," McDonald said. "One just needs to walk slowly and be careful and hope that they don't slip and if they do slip, they should try to break their fall as best they can."
Hooker says she will be on crutches for at least the next three weeks.
"It's really painful," Hooker said. "There's really a lot of icy spots, and you can't rush it at all."
Dr. McDonald says it is too soon to stop being careful, especially at night when the temperature drops below freezing and early in the morning when you take those first few steps outside.
He says, if you can, wear shoes with some type of traction, like golf shoes or something similar.