It is November and winter weather is right around the corner. Every year, winter weather brings with it potentially serious health risks and associated injuries. It’s important to be aware of these and take precautions and preventive measures ahead of time. This will allow you to spend this season enjoying the outdoors~ According to Dr. Oz, here are a few things to remember and some tips to follow.
Slip-and-falls from icy conditions are commonly seen in the ER after winter storms. Wrist fractures and more serious hip fractures and head injuries from falls top the list during treacherous snow and ice storms. It is advisable to remain indoors until roads and sidewalks have been cleared. However, if you do have to venture out and walk on the snow and ice, follow these safety tips:
- Take your time with slower and shorter steps.
- Make sure you are wearing warm, insulated footwear with good rubber tread for traction.
- Be especially careful walking on the side of the road during and after a storm. The combination of sidewalks covered with plowed snow and poor visibility make you extremely vulnerable to getting hit by a vehicle.
Shoveling snow poses another serious risk this winter season. Soft tissue injuries of ligaments and muscles, especially in the lower back, are common from the heavy lifting, bending and twisting. Broken bones, most commonly in hands and arms, are also seen. Lessen your chances of getting hurt while shoveling snow by adhering to the below:
- Pace yourself and take frequent breaks.
- Wear slip-resistant boots and dress accordingly.
- Try pushing the snow as opposed to lifting it or twisting and throwing it over your shoulders.
- It’s important to listen to your body and stop immediately if you get short of breath, start sweating profusely, or experience chest pain.
Driving is another potentially dangerous activity most of us have to do in the winter. A big component is driving too fast for the weather conditions, as well as not leaving enough braking distance between you and the car in front. Even all wheel drive vehicles can’t stop on a dime in icy conditions.
- Take it slow and leave plenty of time to get to your destination when driving in hazardous weather conditions.
- Avoid changing lanes quickly, cutting people off; they, too, need more time and distance to adequately brake and stop.
- Check to ensure your car is in good shape this winter with properly functioning brakes, battery and adequate fluid levels.
Please stay safe this winter season and try to minimize any potential dangerous activities. Saint Alphonsus Rehabilitation Services (STARS) would like to wish you good luck with your holiday planning and, of course, a very Happy Thanksgiving!!!
Please feel free to share this healthy advice with your friends and family. We care about your health and wellness and please know that if there are any “bumps” along the way, we are here for your therapy needs. Please call us at 367-STAR (7827) or visit our website at www.starspt.org .