All material on this website is provided for your information only and may not be construed as medical advice or instruction and should not take the place of health care or services you may need. No action or inaction should be taken based solely on the contents of this information; instead, readers should consult appropriate health professionals on any matter relating to their health and well-being.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Have fun in the snow, but be safe--Winter Safety Tips

The American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons (AAOS) just issued a press release that has some great winter safety tips. With all the snowy and icy weather that is affecting a huge chunk of the country, I thought I'd share some safety tips with you. These tips come straight from the press release. A link to the full release is at the bottom of the list, as well as links to some other great winter safety information.


- Don't sled near or on public streets. Sled only in designated and approved areas where there are no obstacles in the sledding path.
- Sit in a forward-facing position and steer using your feet or the rope steering handles.
- Children should wear a helmet while sledding and should always be supervised by parents or other adults.
- Carry a cell phone in case there is an emergency.


- Check snow and ice conditions before heading out to take part in outdoor activities. Pay attention to news warnings about storms and severe drops in temperature.
- Don't drink or smoke before going outside in the cold. Alcohol, nicotine and caffeine increase the risk of cold injury to the skin.
- If you get wet, get inside as quickly as possible and remove your wet clothes.
- Don't forget about frostbite, and check yourself every half-hour for signs. Go inside if your toes, fingers, ears or other parts of your body become numb.


- Clear snow early and often. Begin when a light covering of snow is on the ground to avoid trying to clear packed, heavy snow.
- Use a shovel that is comfortable for your height and strength. Do not use a shovel that is too heavy or too long for you. Consider buying a shovel that is specially designed to prevent too much stooping. Space your hands on the tool grip to increase your leverage.
- Push the snow instead of lifting it, as much as you can. If you must lift, take small amounts of snow, and lift it with your legs: Squat with your legs apart, knees bent and back straight. Lift by straightening your legs, without bending at the waist. Then walk to where you want to dump the snow; holding a shovelful of snow with your arms outstretched puts too much weight on your spine.
- Do not throw the snow over your shoulder or to the side. This requires a twisting motion that stresses your back.
- Never stick your hands or feet in the snow blower! If snow becomes impacted, stop the engine and wait at least five seconds. Use a solid object to clear wet snow or debris from the chute.
- Beware of the recoil of the motor and blades after the machine has been turned off.

Above information taken from: American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons Press Release, February 1, 2011

For more information from the AAOS:

Sledding Safety

Winter Sports Safety

Prevent Snow Shoveling and Snow Blowing Injuries

No comments:

Post a Comment