Thursday, December 22, 2016
Winter Safety Tips
As I am writing this, we are getting the first snow of the season locally and much of the nation is under weather warnings or advisories. So, I offer some winter safety tips for people of all ages. Avoid Slipping on Ice: Make sure to wear shoes with good traction and non-skid soles, and stay inside until the roads are clear. Replace a worn cane tip to make walking easier. Take off shoes as soon as you return indoors because often snow and ice attach to the soles and, once melted, can lead to slippery conditions inside. Dress for Warmth: Cold temperatures can lead to frostbite and hypothermia. Don’t let indoor temperatures go too low and dress in layers. Going outside? Wear warm socks, a heavy coat, a warm hat, gloves and a scarf. Cover all exposed skill in very cold temperatures. Use a scarf to cover your mouth and protect your lungs. Check the Car: Get your car serviced before wintertime hits, or ask a family member to bring it to the garage for you. Checking oil, tires, brakes, battery and wipers can make a big difference on winter roads. Make sure wiper fluid is filled and there is a proper mixture of antifreeze in the cooling system. Also, make sure your road emergency membership is up to date. Parking Lot Safety: When walking in a parking lot, stay to the sides of the aisle and watch for cars. Make eye contact with an approaching driver; stop walking if you don’t think the driver has seen you. Use all your senses and do not talk on the phone or use headphones while walking in a parking lot. Snow can muffle sound of an approaching vehicle. Before you exit a parking space, adjust seat, mirrors, etc. and do not cut across parking space lines or park near drifts. Prepare for Power Outages: Winter storms can lead to power outages. Make sure you have easy access to flashlights and battery powered radio in case the power goes out. Stockpile warm blankets. Keep a supply of non-perishable foods that can be eaten cold on hand. If the power goes out, wear several layers of clothing, including a hat. Keep moving to raise your body temperature. Fight Wintertime Depression: To help avoid depression having less contact with others during cold months, arrange a check-in system with family members or neighbors and friends (or The Dale Association’s Telephone Reassurance Program). Prevent Carbon Monoxide Poisoning: Using a fireplace, gas heater or lanterns can lead to carbon monoxide poisoning. Ensure your safety by checking the batteries on your carbon monoxide detector and buying an updated one if you need to. Walk like a penguin on slippery surfaces: Here is a fun little poem to help you be safe and remember to walk like a penguin when walking on slippery surfaces. When things get cold and icy, and your path looks kind of dicey – waddle On. Keep your toes all pointed out-y, keep your knees all loosey-goosey – waddle on. Keep your hands outside your pockets, take short steps so you won’t rocket – waddle on. Take it slowly, holy-moly, so you don’t fall down and roll-y – waddle on. Walking like a penguin with short steps is the way to walk safely on slippery surfaces. I hope you find these winter safety tips helpful.