The winter season offers many beautiful sights that may draw you outside, but taking a scenic walk in the snow and ice presents some unique challenges. Take in the seasonal splendor safely with these handy tips for avoiding common ice and snow related injuries, and the accompanying trip to the urgent care.
Rock Those Shades
Sunglasses aren’t just a summer accessory. The glare from snow and ice is brutal. Always wear sunglasses when you’re outside during the day and you’ll find that it’s much easier to see and avoid potential hazards.
Wear Bold Accessories
White and black may look chic, but they won’t help you stand out in a stark winter wonderland. Wear bright clothing so drivers can see you easily. Bold hats, scarves, and jackets are all smart choices. Add reflective tape to your coat if you plan to walk outside after dark.
Use the Handrail
You may skip blithely down the steps of your building all fall, but in winter you should make good use of the handrail. Ice is particularly tricky on steps and you’re in for a nasty cascading fall if you lose your footing without a sturdy rail to help you steady yourself.
Take the Path More Traveled
When you have a choice, always opt for the path that’s better traveled in snowy weather. When the snow is already cleared or at least trampled, you don’t have to worry about finding unseen hazards beneath a fresh layer of snowfall.
Keep Your Eyes Up
It’s tempting to keep your eyes glued to the ground when you’re navigating snow and ice, but you need to pull your eyes up and look for surrounding hazards as well. Loose icicles pose a risk from above. Blowing snow can blind you suddenly. The same ice that’s tricky for your feet is a challenge for cars as well, and you need to stay aware of vehicles that may skid or fishtail on hazardous roads.
Expect Ice Everywhere
Black ice is one of the biggest dangers in cold weather. It looks like a shallow puddle, but this dark spot is actually a smooth slick of ice that will take you down quickly. Assume that any potential trouble spots are ice and act accordingly.
Choose Treaded Footwear
Forget about fashion when the weather is icy. Skip the trendy heels and opt for shoes with a flat sole and durable tread. The entire foot should make contact with the ground. You can slip into your stilettos once you get inside.
Keep Your Ears Open
Hats and earmuffs may dampen your hearing in cold weather, so it’s especially important to steer clear of things that will hamper your hearing further. Don’t listen to music or talk on the phone while you’re walking. Keep your ears open for the sounds of traffic or other potential dangers.
Watch for Wet Floors
You’re not completely safe once you’re inside. Melted snow and ice create slick wet floors inside that you should look out for.
When you’re well aware of your surroundings and take the proper precautions, you can enjoy the winter landscape safely all season long.
About the author:
Jacob Anderson is a freelance journalist from Scottsdale, Arizona who writes for a variety of health and wellness blogs and periodicals.