With snow falling, holiday gatherings filling calendars, and fireplaces glowing, winter can be a magical time. It also brings its own set of health risks with it. We’re taking a look at three common winter dangers and addressing how you and your family can prepare to enjoy a safe and fun winter.
Sledding, snowball fights, and igloo construction can provide for hours of winter fun for your kids. However, when kids are playing outside in the winter it can be easy to forget that exposure to the elements can still cause sunburn and dehydration. In the summer months, temperatures are warm so it is easy to remember sunscreen and water for hydration, but when it is cooler these things can be easily overlooked. Keep these strategies in mind to help your kids have a safe time in their winter wonderland.
- Dress kids in appropriate layers so they are warm enough but can adjust to changes in temperature and activity level.
- Apply SPF 30 or higher sunscreen to exposed skin and use lip balm.
- Pack a water bottle with the Hot Cocoa. Make sure your kids are drinking water and staying hydrated.
Shoveling snow is a serious workout, and taking it too hard can bring on a heart attack—which is a major cause of death in the winter months. If you must shovel snow keep these tips in mind:
- Stretch and hydrate before going outside to shovel.
- Take your time while shoveling. Listen to your body and take breaks as needed.
- Wear appropriate clothing, gloves, boots, and other protective gear to shield yourself from exposure to the cold.
Thoughtful Temperature Control
When temperatures drop outside, we want to cozy up inside. While we look to convenient heating methods like fireplaces and electrical alternatives, it’s important to be aware of the risks of heating.
- Do not use space heaters. Space heaters are responsible for approximately 33% of all winter fires and 80% of all winter heating fire deaths.
- Ensure your home’s carbon monoxide detectors are up-to-date and working and do not use gas ovens or stoves to heat your home.
- Do not run your vehicle inside of the garage to pre-heat it. The fumes are dangerous and can be deadly.
Winter is a time for celebration, friends, and family. By taking some preventative measures, you can help ensure this season is safe and joyous.
Know Where Your Closest Emergency Center is:
When the unexpected happens this winter, Kettering Health Network has 10 conveniently located emergency centers. View a map for a location near you.