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MAKING IT THROUGH A CNY WINTER SAFELY!

11/7/16 11:23 AM

In the home...

 

  • When using a space heater, keep objects at least 3 feet away

  • Use a fireplace screen for wood burning fireplaces


  • Make sure to install and have new batteries in a carbon monoxide detector if using a space heater, gas or wood burning fireplace


  • Make sure to have a fire extinguisher and know how to use it


  • Avoid winter depression: set up a phone or contact system with friends and family so you’re always in touch!


  • Make sure to get up every hour on a cold day to keep stiff joints mobile and minimize risk of falling both in and outdoors




 

Outdoors....

 

  • Get a pair of boots with a good sturdy tread pattern. Be sure they fit you well also.


  • Wear multiple layers; synthetic materials (polyester) wick sweat better than natural fibers (cotton), this will prevent overheating


  • Stay hydrated! Once you start exerting, you will begin to dehydrate (even if you aren’t sweating); this could lead to lightheadedness


  • WARNING SIGNS OF FROSTBITE: progressive numbness and tingling in extremities, followed by loss of any sensation. Skin will begin to blanche and eventually turn a purple-gray color.


  • For assistive devices: use of a built-up spike on the base of your cane, attachment piece can be added.


  • Keep a safety kit in the car: snacks, flashlight, water, extra blanket, salt or kitty litter; especially for longer car trips


  • Keep the outdoor areas well lit to avoid stepping on ice or slippery snow



 

 

While Shoveling...

 

  • Warm-up before shoveling or snow removal: march in place for a few minutes then stretch arms, legs and back muscles


  • Use the right shovel for you.


  • The right shovel should allow you to bend at the knees part-way


  • Keep shovel close to your body


  • Avoid twisting! Rotate at the feet, not the trunk


  • Get help when you can and remember to move slowly!


  • LIFT WITH YOUR LEGS, NOT WITH YOUR BACK!


  • Take as many breaks as you need


  • Call a friend or family member if you cannot remove snow or travel safely on your own.


  • Use plenty of driveway salt or kitty litter to keep driveway and walkways clear.

  • Avoid black ice, it’s shiny and just appears to be wet pavement.


  • TRUST YOUR INSTINCTS, IF YOU DON’T FEEL SAFE, DON’T DO IT!

Written by Mary Smith.

Mary Smith, PT is currently practicing as a Physical Therapist in our Baldwinsville office. She specializes in (and enjoys) treating injured runners to get them back to their craft, or simply reaching their best.

Topics: tips, fall prevention, injury, SAFETY