Glasgow’s health board is urging the public to walk like penguins to avoid slips and trips in the snow and ice this weekend.

NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde recommends adopting a penguin walk as a safer way to get about in the cold weather as it helps people keep stable and minimise the risk of losing balance and slipping on the ice.

The call comes as A&Es face unprecedented pressure this winter due to Covid-19 and are operating at well over normal capacity.

READ MORE: Live updates as snow covers Glasgow and MET Office issues yellow warning

According to the health board, the best way to keep safe on the ice is to mimic a penguin walk by:

  • bending slightly and keeping your knees loose
  • pointing your feet out slightly
  • extending your arms at your sides
  • walking flat-footed, taking short steps
  • keeping your centre of gravity over their feet

In the event of a slip, trip or fall which requires medical attention, the health board is advising the public not to go straight to A&E but to instead to phone 111 for advice. 

The public can also access a Minor Injuries Unit (MIU) which is able to assess, treat and discharge patients, and usually has much smaller waiting times for patients.

Glasgow Times:

Using these services would help protect A&Es for those urgent and life-threatening cases.

Linda de Caestecker, director for public health at NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde said: “During winter months, the most common accidents that result in injury are slips, trips and falls. 

“While most result in only minor bumps and bruises, thousands of people are admitted to hospitals each year with related injuries.

READ MORE: How to drive in the snow? Top tips as Scotland wakes to poor weather

“While it might seem silly to walk or waddle like a penguin, in the context of the wintery conditions we’re seeing today, penguins know best. 

“If you find yourself out and about in icy conditions, adopting the penguin stance is a really effective way to move without falling.

“It’ll keep you safe and could help you avoid a trip to an MIU.

Glasgow Times:

“During this time we should also make sure we’re supporting our elderly family members and neighbours by making trips on their behalf to avoid them having to go out in the ice.”

Across NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde there are three standalone Minor Injuries Units (MIUs) – at the Vale of Leven Hospital, Stobhill Hospital and the New Victoria ACH. 

MIUs operate in a similar manner to A&Es and can take care of a vast range of injuries. 

Patients who attend MIUs following a call to NHS24 are far more likely to be seen, treated and discharged quicker than if they present to an A&E. 

More information on MIUs, what they can treat and how to access one can be found on the NHSGGC website.