Winter is a magical time in the midwest, when for a few short months, temperatures drop enough to allow for that beautiful sheen of snow to coat the earth around us. Since we do not live in an area prone to very much of the white stuff, however, the risk for injury is a little bit higher for us Missourians. We want to make sure that you and your loved ones get the most out of your numbered snow days by avoiding these common snow-related injuries.
Avoid Slips and Falls
Falling on the ice or snow is one of the most common forms of winter-weather injury that may occur. Especially for older individuals, the risk of injury for both slipping on ice and falling as well as the jarring movements one might make trying to recover are leading causes of injury in the winter time. You can help yourself and your loved ones avoid this with these tips. When venturing outdoors on snowy, below freezing days, make sure to wear proper shoes that are designed for these exact conditions. Keep your steps short and avoid taking long or quick strides. Take your time with each step, evaluating frequently the patch of earth in front of you. Whatever you do, take your time doing it. Don’t feel rushed to complete an outdoor chore or race to an appointment. Allow yourself that extra time to safely navigate the space around you, and always have your cell phone on you in case of injury.
Protect Your Back When Shoveling Snow
Few people find the task of shoveling snow from sidewalks and driveways to be particularly enjoyable. The repetitive movements and heavy scoops can cause quite the strain on one’s back. Combine this with the obviously low temperatures, and you have a pretty unpleasant winter activity. Additionally, this winter chore is riddled with risk for injury. One wrong move can turn into lasting pain in the back and neck, which is why anyone responsible for such a task should take a look at these tips for preventing injury. Firstly, we recommend salting walkways and driveways frequently. This will keep the snow levels down, reducing your need to continually shovel it away. Always stretch prior to shoveling, as it is a physical exercise in a cold climate. This will help warm up and loosen muscles, making them less injury prone. Finally, always stay hydrated when performing any winter chore. This is very important to remember, because the summer heat won’t be beaming down on you while you work, reminding you to drink. Forgetting to take drinks can lead to dehydration, which makes the body work much less efficiently.
We at BMI hope you and your family have a winter full of magical outdoor adventures, and we hope also that you remain safe and happy all the way through to spring!