Prepare For The Cold Season With These Tips
Winter storms and cold temperatures can be dangerous. Blizzards and heavy snowfall can come in a flash and catch you off guard. Stay safe and healthy by looking forward and planning ahead. Prepare your home and cars. Prepare for power outages and outdoor activity. Check on older adults. Have a ready supply of warm clothes like scarves, best cooling towels, jackets, coats, mittens, and beanies.
Although winter comes as no surprise, many of us may not be ready for its arrival. If you are prepared for the hazards of winter, you are more likely to stay safe and healthy when temperatures start to fall.
Avoid Snow Shoveling and Snow Blowing Injuries
Shoveling snow or using a snowblower are among winter’s most demanding activities. High levels of activity in cold temperatures may put many people at risk of heart attack, especially those that have had previously inactive lifestyles.
While most people won’t have a problem, shoveling snow can put some people at risk of a heart attack. Sudden exertion, like moving hundreds of pounds of snow after being sedentary for several months, can put a big strain on the heart. Pushing a heavy snow blower also can cause injury if you don’t work with caution.
And, there’s the cold factor. Cold weather can increase heart rate and blood pressure. It can make blood clot more easily and constrict arteries, which decreases blood supply. This is true even in healthy people. Individuals over the age of 40 or who are relatively inactive should be particularly careful. Limit yourself to, at most, 10 minutes of outdoor work at a time. Take frequent breaks to rest and raise your temperature.
These are some safety tips that the National Safety Council recommends:
- Do not shovel after eating or while smoking
- Take it slow and stretch out before you begin
- Shovel only fresh, powdery snow; it’s lighter. Shoveling compacted snow effectively is next to impossible.
- Push the snow rather than lifting it. This saves your energy.
- If you do lift it, use a small shovel or only partially fill the shovel
- Lift with your legs, not your back. Keep the weight as close to your body as possible.
- Do not work to the point of exhaustion
- Know the signs of a heart attack, and stop immediately and call 911 if you’re experiencing any of them; every minute counts
Prepare For Outdoor Activities
Remaining indoors during the winter might sound like a fun idea. But you and your family may want to venture outdoors to enjoy winter activities. When you do, take these steps to prevent serious injuries and illnesses, like hypothermia, cold stress and frostbite:
- Wear layers of light and warm clothing, a wind-resistant coat, waterproof shoes, and a hat, gloves, and scarf.
- Work slowly when engaged in outdoor tasks, such as shoveling your driveway or removing snow from your car. You don’t want to slip and fall on a har, icy surface.
- Take a friend and carry a charged cell phone when participating in outdoor activities.