Whether your wake up to a blanket of snow or some slush, this weather can cause slick conditions. It is important to keep some basic winter safety tips from Patient First Neighborhood Medical Centers in mind during and after the storm:
Walking on Ice
Icy patches can be tough to spot. The slips and falls that come with ice can be serious. If you come across a patch that you believe may be icy, tap the edge of the area with your foot to be sure. Wear shoes with gripping soles to provide traction. Also, keep your hands out of your pockets when walking in order to keep your balance on a slippery surface. Don’t carry heavy items like shopping bags with you when walking on slippery surfaces. This can change your center of balance, making you more likely to slip and fall.
When getting out of your vehicle, check to make sure there are no icy spots near your vehicle. If you are parked on a slick spot, move the vehicle to a different area if you can. Also, when entering and exiting your car while on ice, use the vehicle for balance and support.
A necessary evil after a snow storm, shoveling snow can pose a health risk for many people. Snow shoveling can be a strenuous activity. It can increase blood pressure and heart rate. Individuals with a history of heart disease, high blood pressure or strokes should not shovel snow.
If you must shovel snow, shovel as early as possible. Snow is heavier after it has been on the ground for a few days – often melting and re-freezing, creating a solid chunk of snow rather than powdery, just-fallen snow. Also, make sure that you are properly hydrated and prepare your body for shoveling by warming up. Jog in place or do ten jumping jacks before you begin to shovel, as this will get your blood flowing before you begin. Also, be sure to take your time and move slowly when shoveling snow. Shoveling too fast can increase your blood pressure and put you at greater risk for spraining or pulling a muscle.