After months of beautiful warm weather, it seems that the first bitterly cold winter day always takes us by surprise. Watson the Watchdog and the Safety Squad at Southwest Health have prepared some reminder tips for staying safe this winter.
- Check the temperature and dress for cold, wet or windy weather: Bundle up in several layers of loose clothing; wear mittens rather than gloves; cover your ears with a warm hat; and wear socks that will keep your feet warm and dry.
- Wear proper footwear: Wear winter footwear, such as boots that have slip-resistant soles. High heels and leather soled shoes can be very dangerous in winter conditions. Carry your work shoes or dress shoes separately to the building you are going to.
- Slow down when conditions are slippery. Avoid the need to hurry by starting out earlier than normal. Walk slowly and deliberately. Rushing or running decreases stability and increases the risk of falling.
- Watch where you are walking: Look for slippery spots when walking. This will help you avoid slipping on a patch of snow or ice.
- Take the best route: Follow the clearest route to your entrance, even if it is not the most direct. Obey signs that are posted and follow designated pathways. Avoid glazed ice areas.
- Help our friends who clear the snow and ice for us: Park in areas that have already been plowed so that those nice folks can get at the other areas that may have been previously blocked by parked cars.
- Avoid carrying: Keep your hands empty so that your arms are free to move for stabilization. Drop off loads near the door to avoid carrying long distances. If you must carry something, keep loads small and balanced. Be prepared to drop what you are carrying to avoid a fall.
- Wipe feet on mats when entering buildings: Don’t track water into hallways. Wipe up any water spots to keep others safe.
- Wear light colored clothing and reflective gear when walking at night: Drivers will be able to see you better.
- Prepare your vehicle for travel: make sure your gas tank is at least half full. Tell someone where you are going and the route you will take. If stuck: tie a florescent flag on your antenna; keep dome light on and emergency flashers if at night. Stay in your vehicle: walking in a storm can be dangerous.
- Keep a winter survival kit in your car: We suggest this kit has: a shovel, windshield scraper, flashlight, water, snack food, matches, candles, extra hats, socks and mittens, a first aid kit, necessary medications, blankets, tow chain, road salt, sand or cat litter for traction, booster cables, emergency flares, florescent flag, and a cell phone adapter to plug into lighter.
Wishing you safety and comfort during this magical time of year!