Winter Weather Safety

It’s been a long, cold winter for Mid-Staters and according to Punxatawny Phil, we still have a few more wintry weeks to face. Winter brings a certain austere beauty to the landscape. And with that beauty comes the potential for accidental injury.

If you have made it this far without injury, we are thankful. It is our hope that you remain safe for whatever time is left in this treacherous icy season.

Here are a few safety tips for the remaining weeks of winter weather:

• Wear several layers of warm, breathable clothing to protect from frostbite and hypothermia.
• Snow shoveling can pose a risk to your heart as well as your musculoskeletal system. Make sure you dress warmly and work slowly. Pace yourself and take breaks. Protect your back by pushing the snow with the shovel, rather than lifting and tossing it.
• Many falls occur in winter due to ice. Keep your steps and walkways free from ice. Use a de-icing compound when necessary. Avoid the ice when possible. Strap-on ice cleats can make outdoor activities much safer.
• Snow blowers can pose a serious risk. Never use your hand to unclog snow from the shoot. Snow blower blades are very sharp and are dangerous even when the machine is off.
• When participating in winter sports, remember to:

o Get in shape before attempting new activities.
o Wear a helmet to prevent head injuries when skiing, snowboarding and tubing.
o Make sure equipment (boots and bindings) fit properly.
o Obey the rules of the slope and avoid losing control.
o Avoid loose fitting clothing that can get caught in chair lifts, tow ropes, etc.
o Don’t ski or snowboard alone.