Snowing Safely: A Guide to Avoiding Winter Injuries

Winter is here! The frost has started coating the mornings with glittering brightness, and ice and snow are always on the verge of gracing the landscape. Gracing may be the wrong term here though as ice, snow, and even frost can cause some not-so-graceful hiccups to your plans. With the winter comes the risk of slips, falls, and other cold weather injuries. However, all is not lost- with a few simple steps and a healthy understanding of your personal risk factors, you can likely avoid most winter mishaps and stay safe, warm, and pain free through the holidays and into the new year!

The Danger of Winter

Winter in the Midwest brings plenty of beauty, and unfortunately, plenty of hazards as well. The Midwest experiences bitter cold and plenty of snow for a solid quarter of the year, and it is important that you stay prepared for the sometimes-sudden onset of the cold. The most dangerous days in winter are those where precipitation has fallen and frozen in a layer of ice (which is sometimes invisible). The presence of ice on pathways and roads can cause you to lose your footing and fall or cause your car to lose traction and swerve in any direction. Each of these problems are sometimes unavoidable, but they can be prevented with a few simple steps.

Stay Healthy

Staying healthy during the holiday season and throughout the winter will make your cold season experience far more enjoyable. Taking measures to be prepared for a cold snap is important and can save you plenty of time, money, and inconvenience. While getting ready to take on the challenge of winter you should:

  • Make sure your winter clothing is adequate
  • Check the tread on your boots and vehicle tires
  • Stock up on ice remover or schedule snow and ice removal services
  • Create a list of people to call if you need assistance

The most important thing for getting outside in winter is ensuring that you have enough warm clothes including waterproof coat and gloves. Having the right clothing when you go out can save your life, as there is a significant risk of becoming hypothermic and even freezing to death if you fall and become unable to move out of the cold. On this note, ensuring you have a group of people willing to come check on you can save your life.

In order to prevent these slips, falls, and accidents in the first place, taking a quick peek at the treads of your boots and tires means you can be certain they have the most possible chance at gaining traction in the case that they hit ice. Finally, at home you can ensure that your pathways are snow and ice free by spreading ice melt (if you feel able, but do not strain yourself by shoveling for long periods of time) or scheduling a snow and ice removal service to ensure you can walk safely while at home even in the deepest winter.

Enjoy the Cold!

The Midwest is not a tropical destination especially in the Winter, but that doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy the colder months! Once you make sure to take all the safety precautions necessary to keep yourself healthy, you can feel safe and ready to watch the snow fall, icicles form, and enjoy the holiday spirit. Now that you’ve set all your plans in order, you can sit back, relax, and drink a cup of hot cocoa!