Winter Weather Safety Tips

is a beautiful time of year, as the white glistens on the trees and the children lay on the ground, making angels. As fun as winter can be, it also has its drawbacks. There are times when winter presents hazardous road and dangerous health conditions as well. Knowing how to protect yourself in the is equally important as knowing how to have fun in it.

When going outside, be sure to dress in layers of loose-fitting clothes that are lightweight. This will help keep you warm while pulling the moisture away from your body. Wear a hat to keep your body heat in, and a scarf over your mouth to prevent cold air from entering your lungs. Mittens are warmer than gloves, making them a better choice for hand protection, and all areas of your body should be covered to guard against frostbite.
Snow Shoveling Safety Tips
Shoveling snow is inevitable if you do not own a snow blower, but it is hard work and you should be in good health before attempting it. Be sure to pace yourself and rest frequently to avoid over-exertion. When lifting, do so with your leg muscles rather than your back to prevent an avoidable back injury. Remember, a heart attack can occur at any age–if you experience any chest or arm pain, stop immediately and go inside.
Inside Safety Tips
Before the winter season begins, have all your heaters checked to ensure they are in good working order. Inspect your carbon monoxide detectors as well, especially if you use propane or kerosene to heat your home. If you use space heaters, keep them away from your furniture, walls and curtains to prevent a fire from starting. Be sure to listen to your radio for advisory updates.
Driving Safety Tips
During the winter months, keep your gas tank full to prevent ice from building up in the tank and fuel lines. Inspect your windshield wipers, replacing them if they are worn, and check your wiper fluid, keeping it full at all times. Place extra weight in your trunk, especially if your vehicle is rear-wheel drive–this will help prevent you from sliding on slippery roads. Pack a winter storm survival kit in case you become stranded. This kit should include extra blankets, warm clothes, a flashlight with batteries, non-perishable foods, booster cables and a first-aid kit.
Before You Leave
Make sure you have a cell phone or CB radio with you in case you need to call for help. Tell someone where you are going, how you are getting there, and the approximate time of your arrival. While driving, leave additional space between you and the car ahead of you, and use extra precaution on ramps and bridges–these freeze before the roads and can be an unseen hazard. If you become stranded, do not walk for help. Instead, place a cloth on your window or antenna to signal your need for assistance. While waiting, turn your engine and heater on periodically to warm up, but crack your window a bit to prevent carbon monoxide poisoning. Finally, watch for signs of hypothermia and frostbite.
Frostbite and Hypothermia
If frostbite begins to set in, warm the area by wrapping it or placing it next to warm skin. Never rub the affected area.

Hypothermia is a life-threatening condition which affects the way the body functions due to a drop in body temperature. Signs include numbness, confusion, impaired vision, dizziness, fatigue, stiff muscles and shortness of breath. If you experience any of these symptoms, call 911 immediately and move to a warmer place. If stranded, turn your car heater on and sit in front of it until help arrives.

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