Syracuse Area Health – Strasburger Orthopaedics

Ten Tips to Help Avoid Winter Weather Injuries

Don’t spend the winter months laid up due to a slip and fall injury! Here are ten tips to help keep you safe and sound all winter long.

Slip and Fall Injuries

Slip and fall injury rates increase during the winter months. You can sprain or strain a joint or your back, break a bone, or even hit your head and end up with a concussion. Here’s how you can help prevent hurting yourself by losing your footing:

  1. Salt your sidewalks before the snow and ice arrive. Heavy rock salt will help you keep your footing and melt away icy patches, so you don’t go down in front of your own front door.
  2. Wear proper footwear for winter. Forget dress shoes, and wear boots with a good tread instead. You can always pack your sneakers or heels and put them on when you’re safely at your destination.
  3. Unless you absolutely have to go somewhere, consider staying home in inclement weather. With today’s remote shopping and delivery options, you can get almost anything brought to your door.
  4. If you’re not 100% steady on your feet, consider paying a neighbor of service to shovel your walk. Hospitals see a startlingly high number of injuries due to people who fell trying to shovel their own walks and driveways every year.

Sports-Related Injuries

Skiing, snowboarding, hockey, and other winter sports all come with risks. Fractures, dislocations, and even frostbite can all put you out of commission. You can minimize injury from athletics in the wintertime by following a few simple safety guidelines:

  1. Wear warm clothing in layers and the right protective gear. You can prevent many injuries just by suiting up properly before beginning to enjoy the frigid out-of-doors. Don’t forget head protection, and wear earmuffs and gloves to protect your extremities.
  2. Take frequent breaks and don’t forget to stay hydrated. When you’re exercising in cold weather it’s easy to forget to replenish your fluids. Remember to treat your body well for safety and better performance on the slopes or in the rink.
  3. Protect your eyes from glare and strain. Snow blindness can lead to a serious fall when skiing or snowboarding so invest in goggles or wrap around glasses that cut down on the effect of sun on snow. 

Driving Accidents

Holiday travel causes thousands of accidents every year due to a variety of issues. Make sure you plan your trip well and are prepared for any eventuality.

  1. Replace your tires with snow tires or add snow chains before taking off on a lengthy drive where you might encounter snowy conditions. Also make sure your fog lights are in working order.
  2. Check the weather before you leave. If bad weather is in the forecast and you aren’t experienced in driving in snow or sleet, stay home or leave driving to someone with the skills required.
  3. Keep warm clothes, blankets, something to drink, and emergency provisions as well as first aid and hazard kits in your car. If you get stranded, you’ll be in less danger of succumbing to frostbite before help arrives. 

Following these guidelines can help you weather the dangers of winter and enjoy your holidays without injury. Have you suffered an orthopedic injury from a slip and fall or other accident? Contact our office for a consultation with Dr. Scott Strasburger. 

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