It’s wintertime, and in most areas of the country the lower temperatures have us shivering and searching for our warmest coats! The winter season can be beautiful and has its share of fun activities, but it can also pose hazards to our health. From frostbite to hypothermia, winter weather should not be taken lightly. Luckily, we can turn to the 1983 classic “A Christmas Story” to give us some tips for saying safe and healthy in cold weather:
Ralphie’s little brother taught us that wearing layers is the key to staying warm. When getting dress for cold weather, put on several layers of clothing, and make sure the outer layer is water resistant. And don’t forget your accessories! No, I’m not talking about your watch or necklace. Grab a pair of mittens or gloves for your hands, and make sure to wear a warm hat or cap for your head, where 40% of our body heat can be lost when left exposed. Wool socks and waterproof boots are also important cold-weather clothing items. Throw on a large knit scarf to cover your neck and mouth and protect your lungs. If it’s really cold or you’ll be outside for a while, consider wearing a thermal layer under your pants, such as leggings, tights or long johns.
Wearing layers is good. So is being able to move your arms.
More Isn’t Always Merrier… Be Careful with Holiday Decorating
Homes become much more hazard-prone in the winter. While Ralphie’s father adorned his home with a lamp shaped as a human leg, most of us opt for blinking lights and decorative candles. Our decorations may be more aesthetically pleasing than a leg-shaped lamp, but an influx of holiday decorating precedes an increase in electrical and fire accidents. Here are ways to protect your home from these types of hazards:
- Keep fire extinguishers on hand and make sure everyone knows how to use them
- Refrain from bringing heating devices indoors that are meant for outdoor use
- Don’t place any items too close to candles where they can catch on fire
- If you put up holiday lighting, replace any worn or broken cords or loose bulb connections
- Avoid stringing together more than three strands of lights
- If you get a Christmas tree, place it at least three feet away from any heat source, make sure to keep it well-watered and turn off any lights on it before leaving the house or going to sleep
You might want to think twice before adding another festive light.
Watch Your Step on Snow and Ice
Again, Ralphie’s little brother gives us a helpful tip on winter-weather safety… this time demonstrating how easy it is to fall when walking on ice and through snow. You can reduce your chance of slipping and falling by taking short, slow steps, and spreading salt or kitty litter on driveways and sidewalks. Wearing footwear that has tracking or grip can also be helpful.
Don’t let this be you …
Have Some Common Sense
The photo says it all…
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