We enjoy many winter activities this time of year. Ice skating, sledding, skiing, and building a snowman to name a few. However, before we rush outside, we need to remember to dress for the weather, stay hydrated, and cover exposed areas of skin. We must also take steps to prevent common injuries. Here are some winter activity safety tips to help keep you injury-free during the winter season.
Stick to gently sloping hills, away from traffic, that don’t contain rocks or other obstacles. Only sled down hills covered with packed snow, not ice. Be aware of any hidden hazards under snow piles. If you are about to collide with a tree or other large object, roll off the sled. Go down the hill feet-first, with the feet inside the sled. Avoid sliding down head-first on your stomach.
Ice Skating Safety
If you and your family are heading out to ice skate, make sure you are well prepared. Dress in layers to keep warm. Watch the skating surface for cracks, holes and debris. Skate only in approved areas. Head in the same direction as other skaters, and learn how to stop and fall safely.
Safety on the Slopes
Take lessons if you are a novice. Always wear a helmet when skiing and snowboarding. Start out on the bunny hill or an easy run first to get warmed up. Know your limits and take a break when you’re tired. Be careful getting on and off the ski lift. It is always moving and can be dangerous if you’re not alert.
Avoid Frostbite and Hypothermia
Dress warmly in several layers of clothing. Wear boots, gloves or mittens, and a hat too. If it’s really cold out, wear an extra pair of warm socks. Set a time limit on outdoor activity and take frequent indoor breaks to warm up.
Noses, fingers and toes are common areas for frostbite to set in. Be aware of numbness or tingling and changes in skin color which are the first signs of trouble. Get indoors right away. Symptoms of hypothermia include a change in mental status, confusion, uncontrollable shivering, and irregular heart and respiratory rates. Keep the victim warm and call for medical help.
Stay away from beverages that contain caffeine or alcohol, and medications that make you more sensitive to the cold. Adults and children can quickly become dehydrated in cold temperatures. Be sure to drink water and plenty of warm fluids.
How to Prevent Injuries
While you are spending time outdoors, take precautions to make sure you stay safe. Common winter sports injuries include fractures, sprains, strains, concussions and joint dislocations. Fortunately, many of these injuries are preventable. Follow these tips to improve your chances of staying in one piece.
- Stay in shape. Condition muscles before participating in winter activities.
- Don’t start too fast. Warm up with light exercises and stretches. Ease into the activity.
- Protect yourself. Always wear appropriate protective gear for the activity, including helmets, goggles and pads.
- Learn how to fall. A trainer can teach you the basics.
- Know your limits and skill level.
- Learn and follow all the safety rules.
Clean the Air inside Your Home
While you are enjoying your favorite winter outdoor activities, let the professionals at Will Air freshen up the air inside your home. Will Air is a high-quality, residential and light commercial, heating and cooling company in Central Maryland. We specialize in HVAC systems, duct cleaning, and preventive planned maintenance. Call us today at 410-549-9300 or go to our website to request a free estimate.