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When the ice, snow and slush make their appearance, Inspira emergency room and urgent care doctors see the aftermath of winter-related injuries come through their doors. Keep you and your family safe this winter season by learning about the most common cold-weather injuries and how they can be prevented.
Slips and falls
The winter season is one of the busiest for many but can also be one of the hardest times of year to get places quickly thanks to slippery conditions. To stay on your feet, follow these tips:
- Walk slowly and deliberately on icy or snowy paths outside and take preventive steps to salt and clear your walkways.
- When possible, keep your hands empty and out of your coat pockets so that you’re able to stabilize yourself in the case of a fall.
- The threat doesn’t necessarily end when you get inside. Be mindful of wet floors when you first enter buildings.
- Invest in slip-resistant footwear and have a designated place inside the door to leave wet shoes so you don’t track puddles through the house.
Snowfall can be serene and beautiful as it transforms your property into a snow-capped wonderland, but that snow piled high needs to go somewhere. The manual labor of shoveling or blowing your way to functional driveways, walkways and steps can cause severe strain on the body––especially your back, neck and arms. To avoid preventable pulls and strains:
- Lift with your legs, not your back. Your back should be straight, your knees should be bent and you should always bend from the hips when shoveling.
- Invest in the right equipment. Go with a lighter plastic shovel over steel and look for ergonomic shovels designed to protect your back from unnecessary strain.
- Snow blowers are full of sharp blades. Follow lawnmower rules and keep hands out of clogged machinery.
- Know when it’s time to hand over duties. Take turns with someone else in your household or hire someone if the job is too strenuous.
From sledding hills to skating rinks to the seat of a snowmobile, the winter season is full of fun activities and sports that can produce various types of injuries if you’re not taking the proper safety precautions. Here are some general guidelines to stay safe:
- Wear the proper protective equipment if you’re hitting the slopes, especially a helmet.
- Don’t go on runs or try tricks that are above and beyond your skill level.
- Keep order on the sledding hill. Teach your child to be aware of their surroundings to avoid collisions.
- Protect your skin from the elements to avoid frostbite. Always check on little ones to make sure hats are on and gloves haven’t been lost.
Inspira offers four emergency room locations and 11 urgent care centers in New Jersey for patients looking for exceptional care close to home. Download the MyInspira App to check wait times or find your nearest Inspira Urgent Care location.