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Winter Safety

Thursday, January 25th, 2018

Here in Minnesota – some of us love winter. We love to skate or ski or snowboard or make snow angels.

And others, while not loving it, tolerate winter – or at least have gotten used to it as being a yearly occurrence.

Regardless of the group you fall into it’s not a bad idea to plan for a safe season.

The Great Outdoors

If you’ll be outside for an extended period, dress in layers. Whether walking the dog, going for a run or spending a day on the slopes, layering your clothing is the best way to insulate from the cold. It’s best to start with a synthetic layer next to your skin (such as polyester, nylon and polypropylene). The middle layer can be a wool sweater or polar fleece and the outside layer or shell should be waterproof.

Take special care to protect your hands and feet. Your extremities are the first to freeze as they don’t get as much blood flow as your core when it’s cold. This holds true for your head and face, too. Fingers, toes, ear lobes, and the tip of your nose are most susceptible to frostbite — so wear a warm hat and even face protection depending on the temperature.

Stay Safe Indoors, Too

Home fires are more prevalent in the winter months than any other season.
– Don’t leave candles or space heaters unattended
– Make sure your fireplace or wood burning stove is properly ventilated
– Test your smoke alarms
– Keep a fire extinguisher easily accessible
– Run water from all faucets frequently during extreme cold to keep pipes from freezing
– In Minnesota, state law requires that carbon monoxide alarms should be installed within 10 feet of bedrooms. Learn More.
– Indoor air quality diminishes over the winter and can become a health concern as germs spread. Get out and get some fresh air whenever possible.

The Car

Minnesotans know not to leave home without a windshield scraper, but you should also ensure that your tires are inflated properly and you have good tread depth. AND please carry an emergency kit in your vehicle in case you become stranded. You can purchase pre-packed emergency car kits, but you can also pack your own. Some key items for a winter car kit include:
– A blanket
– A flashlight
– Bottled water
– A battery powered radio
– A whistle (to sound for help)
– Non-perishable snack food like nuts and granola bars
– Cell phone adapter/charger
– If you become stranded –and you have a cell phone, call 911

Love it or hate it, winter is here and we hope you make the most of it and stay safe! And don’t forget to Call Us First if you have any questions or concerns about your health.