At the first cold spell in November on my regular evening walk on a misty, cold evening, I found myself down on my back on the sidewalk. I had walked along normally thinking that the sidewalk was just wet when it was actually a wet skim of ice. The first thing I did was look quickly to make sure no one had witnessed my graceless fall, and then made sure I was allright and not hurt.
This past weekend with 4.5 inches of wet heavy snow and several hours of shoveling wore out my back. Both of these are common complaints when winter weather is upon us. I wanted to share that I have found out that the dangers of winter weather must be taken seriously……
-Rebecca from Accord Home Solutions
5 Tips for Snow and Ice Safety
How to deal with some of the biggest challenges of winter weather
Are you expecting a White Christmas? Is your local weatherman warning it will be a snowier-than-usual winter? Then add this to your seasonal to-do list: Be prepared for snow and ice. When the weather outside is frightful, the last thing you need is to throw out your back while shoveling, or have to get someone who’s fallen on your slippery driveway to the ER.
Here are our top tips for dealing with some of the challenges of snowy, icy weather.
Walking on ice.
Slips, trips and falls are second only to traffic accidents as the cause of accidental deaths in the United States, according to the Workers Compensation Fund. And snowy, icy surfaces are to blame 80 percent of the time.
If you have to walk on ice, lower your chance of falling by walking like a penguin, advises the University of Wisconsin. Here’s how: Spread your feet wider than usual. This broadens your base, making it harder to lose your footing. As you move, bend your knees slightly, and hold your arms out at your sides for balance.
Staying warm in freezing weather.
Very cold temperatures can be dangerous. About 1,300 people in the United States die from hypothermia every year, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Hypothermia happens when your body temperature dips to 95 degrees F or lower.
Warning signs include shivering, fatigue, confusion and drowsiness. If you suspect someone has hypothermia, call 911 for medical help immediately. If his clothes are wet, get him into dry ones as soon as possible.
Backaches and back injuries are potential hazards of clearing your driveway, says Michael Gleiber, MD, spokesperson for the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons. Save your own back by using a shovel with a long arm and flat(ish) blade to push the snow out of the way, Gleiber advises. If you have to lift a shovel full of snow, squat or bend at the knees and use your legs to lift the shovel.
Giving walkways the non-slip.
After you shovel, sprinkle salt or an environmentally friendly ice melt on your driveway, walkway and stairs to further reduce the chance of someone falling.
Clearing snow from your roof.
Don’t climb a ladder to get to your roof, and don’t use a roof rake as that can damage your shingles. Bottom line: Call a professional.