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Stay Safe This Winter with These 5 Tips

Stay Safe This Winter with These 5 Tips

With the winter months approaching, it is time to start to think about the different ways in which we can all stay safe. Winter is notorious for increasing falls and accidents as the roads and sidewalks become snow and ice-covered. If you are interested in learning some ways in which you can stay safe this winter, continue reading  

Heat Your Home Safely 

It is no doubt that the winter months get cold, but if you plan to use a wood stove, fireplace or space heater, it is important to be careful. Some tips to help you stay warm while being safe include not turning on your stove for heat if the power goes out. Instead, have some extra blankets, sleeping bags and warm coats as well as a fireplace that is up to code with plenty of dry firewood or gas to keep you warm.  

If you are using a space heater, it is a good idea to use one with an automatic shut-off switch and non-glowing elements to ensure that it does not start a fire while using it. Also, make sure to keep them away from any materials that may be flammable such as blankets and curtains.  

Drive Safely 

Winter is the time of the year when most people are afraid of getting in a car accident as the roads are snowy and ice-covered. In order to stay safe on the roads, it is a good idea to not use cruise control in wintery conditions, steer in the direction of your skid so when your wheels regain traction you do not have to try and overcorrect to stay in your lane. Other ways of staying safe on the road include accelerating and decelerating slowly, increasing your following distance to 8 to 10 seconds, and not stopping on hills.  

Finally, if visibility is limited due to a whiteout, pull over to the side of the road in a safe place and do not drive again until the conditions get better. Avoid pulling off onto the shoulder unless it is an emergency as you’re more likely to get hit here.  

Dress Warm 

If you plan to go outside in cold temperatures, it’s important to dress warm. Adults and children should consider wearing the following to stay warm and dry:  

  • Hat 
  • Scarf 
  • Knit mask  
  • Tight sleeves 
  • Mittens 
  • Water-resistant coat  
  • Water-resistant boots 
  • Several layers of clothing 

Prevent Falls 

When rain and snow start to fall, so do people. There are a few tips that can help you stay on your feet easier this winter. The first way you can prevent falling is to wear the right shoes. Choosing ones that fit properly and have good traction will allow you to stay on your feet. Another great way to prevent falls is to leave for your destination early as most falls happen when you are in a rush. So, allow yourself plenty of time to get to where you plan to go. Taking small penguin-like steps is another way in which you can make sure you do not fall. This allows you to stay as flat-footed as possible when walking on ice. Finally, keep your hands free. This will allow you to use them for balance or if you do stumble, you can catch yourself easily and decrease your chances of getting hurt.  

Know the Signs of Frostbite and Hypothermia 

Hypothermia, which is an abnormally low body temperature, is a dangerous condition that can occur when you have been outside in extremely cold temperatures for an extended period of time. For adults, warning signs can include exhaustion or feeling tired, shivering, confusion, fumbling hands, memory loss, or slurred speech. For babies, signs can include bright red, cold skin and very low energy.  

Frostbite is a type of energy that is caused by freezing that can lead to a loss of feeling and/or color in the affected areas. Usually, frostbite affects your nose, ears, cheeks, chin, fingers and toes. It can cause permanent damage and, in some cases, can lead to amputation. Signs of frostbite include white or grayish-yellow skin color, skin that feels unusually firm or waxy, and numbness.  

Staying safe this winter does not have to be a challenge. With these few tips, you can better protect both you and your home during the winter months. Do not feel the need to stress over winter again! 


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