Island Health says hospital emergency departments are busier than usual with slip and fall incidents, broken bones and motor vehicle crash victims.

As a result officials are advising everyone, particularly seniors, to be extremely cautious when venturing outdoors in snowy and icy conditions.

The organization is also reminding people that hospital emergency departments are for urgent and acute medical issues.

To avoid the risk of falling, officials say keep your hands out of your pockets, use a backpack instead of a purse to improve your balance, use walking aids and sprinkle sand or salt around your sidewalks to improve traction.

Shovelling snow can be a physical strain, pace yourself and be a good neighbour by helping seniors who are not able to clean their sidewalks.