Winter is a wonderful time of year, filled with beautiful scenery and scores of outdoor activities. Whether you enjoy the simple pleasures of sledding, ice skating, the occasional snowball fight, or you enjoy more involved winter sports such as skiing, snowboarding and snowmobiling, this time of year has something for everyone to enjoy. Winter can be a wonderland, but the cold weather also brings with it a slew of dangers that we all must protect ourselves against. Below are some tips to help keep you safe while enjoying all that this time of year has to offer.
YOU: The cold weather can be very dangerous if you are not properly dressed. Wearing layers can help you retain body heat. Pair this with wearing a warm winter hat and gloves or mittens to keep you warm in frigid temperatures. You should cover as much of your body as is possible, as heat loss is tied to the surface area of skin which is exposed to the elements. Contrary to popular belief, the old saying that you lose most of your body heat through your head is a myth.
YOUR CAR: Preparing your vehicle for winter is an important part of winter safety. If your vehicle is rear wheel drive you should add weight in the trunk (or truck bed) to help the rear tires gain traction in slippery conditions. You should also carry a winter survival kit that includes warm clothing and blankets in case you are stranded, kitty litter or sand to lie down on the snow for added traction if your vehicle becomes stuck, a flashlight with batteries, snack foods such as granola bars, jumper cables, a first aid kit, and a cell phone. By being sure your vehicle is stocked with these items you will be better prepared if you find yourself out in the cold with car trouble.
YOUR DRIVEWAY: Clearing snow is the one chore nobody likes, but is necessary in order to keep your driveway clear and your property safe. If you are not fortunate enough not to own a snow blower or to have your driveway plowed, then it looks like you are doing it the old-fashioned way-with a shovel and some sweat. If this applies to you, then you should take precautions to avoid injury. Always lift the shovel with your legs, never with your back as this could cause a serious back injury. Also, take frequent breaks to prevent over exertion. Trust me, the snow isn’t going anywhere so when you’ve had a rest it will be there waiting for you.
YOUR HOME: When the temperature dips real low, an easy escape from the cold seek refuge in your own home and warm up with some hot chocolate. In order to continue enjoying your escape from the cold, you should be sure your home’s heating system is functioning properly. Before the weather gets too cold, fill your fuel tank and have a technician service/clean your burner. If you supplement your home heating with space heaters, be sure to place them far from curtains, walls or furniture to prevent a fire. With that said, also test your smoke detectors and carbon monoxide detectors to be sure they are functioning properly and have fresh batteries.
These tips will help you enjoy the winter months safely. For more information on winter safety, visit http://www.ehow.com/way_5251295_winter-weather-safety-tips.html. Now stop reading this and go outside and have some fun!