4 Tips to Avoid Injuries While Traveling This Winter
Sometimes, more than a good pair of winter boots is needed to get around in snowy weather. During the cold months of the year in the Midwest, ice and snow can cause painful injuries like slip-and-falls, sprains, bruises, and broken bones. So if you’re thinking about traveling out of state during the upcoming cold season, here are a few ways to decrease your risk of getting injured on your next holiday vacation:
1. Wear Proper Gear
Even though you can still get injured while wearing the proper gear in the winter, it’s important to travel with a pair of lightweight boots or outdoor shoes that have good support to help you get around on icy or snowy ground. For extra traction, you can also purchase snow grips for the bottom of your shoes or boots to help decrease your risk of falling.
Other important gear, like gloves, can keep your hands from drying out and frostbite. Hands are one of the extremities that are most susceptible to cold weather, and gloves help to insulate and keep them warm. If you end up slipping, wearing gloves at the time will save you from touching cold snow and other objects.
2. Be Cautious When Walking Outside
Depending on the weather, you can walk around and go sightseeing while visiting a new place. Even though you should travel during light weather, it is easy to get stuck in harsh conditions on a pre-planned vacation. Even if the weather isn’t extreme, you could always slow down while walking outside in the winter.
Ice can be tricky, so consider paying close attention to your steps. Walking slowly can decrease the chances of slipping and falling. Although it may sound silly, some people waddle like a penguin and take small steps from side to side when they walk on ice. This trick can help maintain your center of gravity when walking on slippery ground.
3. Hold Onto Objects Around You
Keeping your hands free and using objects around you, like railings or a lamp post, is useful when trying to steady your balance. Be sure to use a backpack, purse, or shoulder bag to carry your belongings, and wear gloves to keep your hands warm and out of your pockets just in case you need to steady yourself and grab an object around you.
4. Monitor Weather Changes
A small temperature change can turn a slick surface into black ice or melt snow into slippery slush. Staying aware of the weather while you’re traveling helps to figure out how many layers of clothes you need to wear and helps to avoid common winter injuries. The weather can be unpredictable! Stay prepared and pay close attention to abrupt snowfall and other unsafe conditions like ice underneath piled snow.
If you’re ever in a scenario where you feel yourself falling, and there isn’t an object around to help steady your balance, don’t try to catch yourself with your arms. That could lead to severe injuries, breaks, and fractures. Instead, try to take the hit on your bottom or back. After you fall, wait for someone to help you up to avoid falling again.
Remember always to use your best judgment when traveling in the winter. Stay inside on days when there’s too much ice or snow on the ground. You can always find inside activities, like making snow cone ice cream or watching a good movie while drinking hot chocolate, to keep yourself occupied, safe, and warm during bad winter weather on vacation.
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