The winter season can be rough as this time of the year carries special risks such as extreme temperatures, wind chills, and threats relating to snow safety.
Read on as we discuss common snow-related injuries and first aid tips to protect yourself and your loved ones this winter.
Winter Safety Indoors And Outdoors
Australian winters are known for being cold. While it is true that many people spend more time indoors at this time of the year, some embrace the outdoors – engaging in snow activities and enjoying cooler temperatures.
Winter can be fun with outdoor activities such as ice skating, skiing, ice fishing, snowmobiling, etc. However, engaging in winter activities bears unique safety risks.
For many parts of Australia, the winter season can mean bitter cold, with high winds, icy rain, or heavy snowfall.
Heavy snow accumulation can take down trees, branches, and powerlines which can cause power outages and utility issues.
This winter season, get prepared for whatever the snow will bring, whether you are spending time indoors or outdoors.
Snow Safety Tips
Here are some safety tips to follow to ensure winter and snow safety.
Stay Safe Indoors
Although staying at home during the winter is suggested, it is important to be mindful of possible fire risks and dangers. Make sure to have working smoke alarms, and never leave a burning candle or any object that can cause a fire unattended.
Avoid using a generator, a grill, camp stove, or other gasoline and charcoal-burning devices inside the house. Keep these away from the doors, windows, and vents that could possibly allow carbon monoxide to come inside.
Preparing Your Vehicle
Make sure your car is in great working condition if you and your family need to brave the cold.
Keep the gas tank full to hit the road in times of emergencies easily. Fix the heater, and inspect the tires for tread wear. Consider switching to snow tires to help drive on snowy and slippery roads.
Prepare an emergency kit and keep it in the vehicle, and do not forget to refresh the supplies for the winter season.
Have A Home Emergency Kit
Snow safety at home starts by creating a basic emergency kit containing essential supplies such as a first aid kit, flashlight, battery-operated radio, food, water, and blankets.
The key to an effective emergency kit is ensuring they are organised, easy to find, and carry in case you need to evacuate your home.
Dressing in layers helps provide warmth to the body without the risk of overheating. Make sure that the coating directly to the skin should be a moisture-wicking material.
The moisture-wicking material help pulls the sweat away from the body to prevent overheating. Apply extra caution when dressing small children and babies in layers of clothing. Be aware of choking hazards such as scarves and mittens.
Check Weather Reports
When severe winter weather occurs and there is a snow safety threat, the Australian Bureau of Meteorology (BOM) issues special alerts to notify people in the affected areas. That way, they can prepare and take steps to protect themselves and their property.
Avoid Snow Injuries
Winter activities such as shoveling snow and using a snow blower are the season’s most grueling activities. Performing a high level of movements in cold temperatures puts you at risk of a heart attack.
The risk is particularly higher for people with inactive lifestyles or an existing medical condition.
Sudden exertion from moving hundreds of pounds of snow without prior equivalent activities can put a big strain on the heart. Pushing a heavy snow blower is also a snow safety risk for sprains and muscle injuries.
The winter may be cold, but it does not have to be dangerous. Stay warm and safe and make the best of the winter, whether inside or outside the home.
To learn more about snow safety and how to become better prepared to face a range of emergencies, consider getting a first aid course.