People are loving this simple hack to stop you slipping on icy pavements
The UK is currently experiencing the big freeze, with snow and ice weather warnings continuing across the UK after the record for the coldest night of the year so far was broken for the second night in a row. Brrrrr.
With temperatures plummeting and snow and ice falling across many areas of the UK, slipping on an icy pavement is a very real risk right now.
While some people are trying to avoid skidding over by trying to stick to paths and roads that are gritted, one woman has come up with a simple yet clever hack for avoiding falling over in the wintry conditions.
With driveways and paths turning into hazards, TikTok user @mels_family_life has shared trick to increase your grip on the ice and help prevent you toppling over.
In a video that has clocked up up more than a million views, the creator shows that all she does to help stop slips is put a pair of large socks over her shoes.
Read more: How to de-ice your car quickly – and the methods that could leave you facing a fine
Demonstrating the trick herself and branding the unique hack an "absolute game changer", the social media user shared her unusual method of preventing cold weather slips.
"So this is happening right now," she says in the demonstration clip of her walking on an icy pavement.
"When it's icy, socks and shoes... game changer.
"If you don't know, get to know," she added.
Apparently the trick works if you put the socks over the whole shoe or just on the sole.
Unsurprisingly, with people looking to stay upright in the wintery conditions right now, many TikTok users expressed their thanks for the unusual tip.
"I've never heard of this before, will definitely give it a try," one user wrote.
"Off to Primark for men's trainer socks it is then because it's a skating rink out there," another added.
Someone else added: "I'm so on this, I live in Scotland and am petrified of slipping, I've had a few falls too, so thanks."
"Going to do this!" a third vowed. "I recently slipped and broke my elbow so I have the absolute fear of falling again. This will help so much."
Watch: Man skies down London street as cold weather grips UK
Others who had tested out the tip themselves also hailed its success. "My grandma told me to do this years ago! Works a treat," one person wrote.
While some pointed out that they might attract some stares going out with socks over their shoes, one TikTok pointed out the benefits far outweighed looking a bit strange: "I'd rather look silly with socks over shoes than struggling around on crutches after snapping a leg slipping on ice," the user wrote.
"I've always done this," another commenter added. "Always get the looks but I ain't the one sliding."
Read more: Should you leave the heating on overnight when it's very cold?
The NHS has previously warned of the risks of slipping over in wintery weather, with cold spells bringing additional challenges due to ice and snow.
Falls are one of the main causes of older people attending accident and emergency departments and can sometimes lead to lengthy hospital stays.
To try to avoid slipping on snow or ice, the NHS advises spreading sand or salt on icy surfaces on walkways, work areas and steps. Also, wear shoes or boots with flat, low heels and a slip-resistant sole to reduce slipping hazards and a good tread that helps to grip the surface.
Meanwhile, NI Direct has put together some further tips to reduce the risk of slipping over in icy weather.
Think about the best route to your destination and allow a little extra time to get there
Avoid rushing or taking shortcuts over areas where snow or ice removal is incomplete
Choose suitable footwear – flat shoes/boots with rubber soles provide better traction on ice and snow than leather-soled or high-heeled shoes
Use handrails where you can
Take small steps to keep your centre of balance under you
Avoid carrying lots of heavy shopping bags, especially on steps
Walk slowly and never run on icy ground
Keep both hands free for balance, rather than in your pockets
Always be aware of your surroundings – some places will stay icy for longer than others, for example, places that do not get the sun
Be particularly careful getting into and out of vehicles – and hold on to your car for support
Keep paths clear of debris, water, ice and snow
Be sure to use floor mats when entering a building to remove moisture from the soles of your shoes –this will help protect you, as well as others who follow, from having to walk on wet or slippery surfaces
Read more: 23 ways to stay warm without turning on the heating this winter
The socks over shoes tip isn't the only cold weather hack people have been sharing lately. Comedians Rob Beckett and Josh Widdicombe have also discussed a tip for keeping your hands dry while having a snowball fight.
On the most recent episode of their podcast Parenting Hell, Widdicombe reveals a genius hack for keeping your gloves dry in snowy conditions.
“So what I used to do, to keep my gloves dry, Rob, was go gloves and then over the top Marigolds – as a child, not as an adult," he says. "Because then you’ve got waterproof gloves.”
Of course, going out wearing washing up gloves might have an impact on your style credentials, but in these chilly times, when there are snowmen to be built and snowball fights to be won, wet gloves are no good to anyone. So cheers for the tip, Widdicombe!