Fall is quickly fading into winter, and as the temperatures drop it’s easy to catch yourself unprepared. You can get ready for the weather ahead and keep safe and warm by following a few easy steps.
When outside, exposed areas – including your ears, nose as well as fingers – are at high risk for frostbite after as little as 10 to 15 minutes in sub-freezing temperatures. This risk is increased for the elderly. Keep these winter safety tips in mind.
Plan ahead. Check the weather reports and dress accordingly. Keeping warm is important, especially to areas like your lower back which can be easily injured. Layers and hats, gloves, scarves can keep you properly protected when you’re outside.
Take a moment to stretch. Keep your back, leg, and arm muscles limber with light stretching before heading out into the cold and snow. This can help prevent injury. When stretching, bend from your hips if possible. Also avoid bending your knees at more than a 90 degree angle – this increases stress at the joint.
Prevent dehydration. The air gets drier when the temperature drops. By consuming water and avoiding alcohol, soda, and caffeine, you will decrease the chance of dehydration. Excess sugar and caffeine in drinks can place you at risk for dehydration.
Practice safe shoveling. Find someone to assist you with this task if possible, but if you do decide to shovel your sidewalk or driveway, remember to take frequent breaks. Be sure to go inside to rest for 15-20 minutes out of each hour to and warm up. If you develop chest pain or any problems, stop shoveling immediately and call 911.
Be cautious of space heaters indoors. Check to make sure your space heater is working properly. Keep it in an open area, away from any potentially flammable materials like paper or fabric.
Install a carbon monoxide detector. Avoid the dangers of a gas leak by making sure you install a carbon monoxide detector in your residence.
Here at Freedom Home Care we hope you enjoy the holiday season safely! Remind your loved ones to bundle up well and stay safe this winter.