Personal Safety Tips for Inside and Outside This Winter

List: Posted: 09/12/11

The winter months where it snows can be a lovely time of the year, where the snow coats the world in pristine white.  It can be a fun time for the kids as well, a time for snowmen and skiing.  However, it can also be dangerous for all members of your family if you do not take safety precautions.  Whether you are inside or outside, you need to make sure that safety is your primary concern in the winter.

 

Protect Against Frostbite

 

The cold is one of the biggest safety problems in the winter, no matter how old or young you are.  When you are going outside, you should dress in layers of warm clothing that is lightweight and that doesn’t fit too snugly.  Looser fitting clothes keep moisture from clinging to you.  You should also make sure that you wear a hat to keep in the heat, and wear gloves or mittens to help protect you from frostbite.

 

Take Care Shoveling

 

Another safety concern that you may have, is the shoveling you'll have to do if you don’t own a snow blower.  Only those who are in good health should shovel their walkways and driveways.  Take frequent breaks to avoid overexerting yourself, and bend from the knees to avoid straining your back.  You might not realize how much water you are losing since it is so cold out, so make sure you sip water every ten minutes or so if you are doing heavy shoveling.  Always stop and take a break if you find yourself getting dizzy or lightheaded. 

 

Be Careful Driving

 

Driving safety in the winter is different too.  The utmost caution should be taken every time you get into the car in the winter.  Make sure that the car and the heater run properly, and that you have snow chains fitted by an auto supply store if you need them.  Stopping distances can be up to six times longer, so don't get over confident and try to drive at your normal speed. 

 

Watch Out For Black Ice

 

Watch out for patches of black ice as you drive, which is a frozen area of road under the shade of trees or buildings which block the sun's rays from thawing the roads in shady areas.  If you hit a patch of black ice and brake, you can find your car fishtailing out of control in a heartbeat.


Check Your Heaters

 

Inside safety is important too, and too many people forget this.  Before the winter season starts, you need to make sure that you have heaters that work properly.  Install carbon dioxide meters (available from most home improvement stores) to make sure that your air isn’t toxic coming from the heater.  

 

Those who use space heaters need to make sure that they aren’t too close to furniture, tio abide by fire safety regulations.  Make sure kids and pets can't tamper with or knock over the heaters, and use an oil based heater with a safety cut-off switch if you have any concern about this.  Never leave heaters unattended in any instance, whether you have kids and pets or not.

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