Cold weather can create conditions that may be hazardous to your health. As you trudge through the snow and struggle to stay warm this winter, keep these five helpful safety tips in mind:
1. Wear Layers. It’s common knowledge that wearing layers in cold weather keeps you warmer. But don’t forget to make sure each layer provides adequate insulation (loose-fitting clothing works best) but is light enough to minimize perspiration. If you’re spending an extended amount of time outdoors, it’s crucial to wear a hat, gloves and moisture-wicking material to keep you warm, dry and comfortable.
2. Shovel Slowly. For those who are not accustomed to strenuous exercise, shoveling snow can be especially dangerous, as it requires a large amount of energy and strength. To make the job easier, shovel slowly and take frequent breaks. Tackle the snow one small area at a time, pushing it out of the way rather than lifting it or tossing it.
3. Wear a Helmet. Regardless of your age or skill level, winter sporting activities can be dangerous. Whether you’re playing hockey, skiing, snowboarding or even sledding, wear a helmet to protect your head from serious injury. Always supervise young children during winter sports and activities.
4. Be Prepared. Keep an emergency kit on hand in case of a blizzard or ice storm, as you may lose power for an extended period of time. Helpful items include blankets, battery-powered radios, flashlights, sand or cat litter (to provide traction on slick driveways and sidewalks), drinking water, non-perishable food, a basic first aid kit and an extra supply of any necessary medication.
5. Check Your Alarms. Although this isn’t an outdoor tip, it’s a vital safety precaution for winter when many people are using furnaces, heaters and fireplaces. Check your carbon monoxide and smoke alarms to make sure they’re working properly; replace the batteries if necessary. Don’t have a carbon monoxide detector? Get one today! They are inexpensive, easy to install and can save your life in the event of a carbon monoxide leak.