Reduce Winter-Related Hazards
As temperatures drop, different seasonal risks emerge. While the holiday season brings a certain kind of joy and fun, it’s helpful to know how to reduce winter-related hazards so you can focus on enjoying a worry-free winter season!
Taking a fall
While you might want to stay active during the winter, going out in the snow and on the ice can increase your chances of falling. Limb injuries, like breaking a bone or twisting an ankle, are a lot more likely to happen during the wintertime.
Sports injuries can happen in anyone who partakes in wintertime sports but this is especially likely in kids. If your child likes to do things like ski, go sledding, or snowboard, ensure they’re wearing proper safety gear like a helmet or wrist guards. These are best practices for anyone who chooses to participate.
If your favorite way to exercise during the snowy season is walking or running, wear shoes that have good traction, avoid icy patches and focus solely on where you’re going so you don’t accidentally wander across a slippery area.
For those who like to hike, invest in some trekking poles or microspikes, which slip onto your hiking boots for extra traction.
Another common winter-related injury is hypothermia. You are most likely to experience this in cold weather along with other exposure-related injuries like frostbite or frostnip, which is a minor version of frostbite.
If you’re spending a significant amount of time outside in the cold, make sure you have enough layers, especially a hat and gloves, to keep you warm, including waterproof ones if it’s raining!
For our outdoor adventurers, layers should be made of polyester, nylon, or wool, rather than cotton, since cotton retains more moisture when you sweat and can put you at risk for hypothermia even if it’s not that cold out.
Heightened risk of car accidents
Car accidents tend to increase during the winter, whether it’s due to increased drinking and driving or weather-related accidents.
Due to things like visibility issues, icy road conditions, and evenings getting darker earlier, it’s important to take your time and know that getting to your destination safely is more important than trying to rush and save time. Try to find less crowded routes if you can, and follow road safety protocols.
Use extra caution if you’re driving in the winter, especially when it’s dark out and especially in areas where there could be ice or snow on the road. Minimize distractions by putting your phone away so you can really focus on the road.
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