Ways to avoid wintry mishaps

Ways to avoid wintry mishaps
Ways to avoid wintry mishaps
Shoveling snow is one of the necessities of a Michigan winter—and it’s important to tackle it with safety top of mind. (For Spectrum Health Beat)

It’s up to you whether you want to go outside in the cold for fun or because you have to.

Skiing, sledding, or hiking, what’s your preferred mode of transportation? It sounds like you’re having a fun right now. The driveway has been plowed and you’re on your way to your automobile in the parking lot? It’s a drag.

Both the ice and the snow are quite hazardous.

The first step to avoiding winter mishaps is to be aware of all the many types of injuries you could suffer.

Slip and fall accidents are the most common. There is a long number of probable injuries, each with varying degrees of seriousness. A concussion, dislocated shoulder, shattered bone, and bruises are all possibilities.

Dr. Brian Lee, PA-C, physician assistant at Spectrum Health Medical Group’s orthopedic surgery section, says that “people slip and end up damaging an ankle.” This can lead to more severe upper extremity injuries when they fall hard because their hands and arms automatically reach out to catch them.

People participating in winter activities, such as sledding or skiing, are more likely to be injured by slips and falls.

Faster speeds can lead to more catastrophic injuries in high-impact sports like boxing, according to Lee.

People who are just attempting to go around on slick ground are responsible for the majority of the injuries that occur.

Winter comes and you have to cope with the extra factors of ice and snow, he explained. “You spend all summer and fall walking in the typical method.”

Take your time and be cautious.
Winter sports can be particularly dangerous because of the high prevalence of injuries. If you’re not careful, shoveling, for example, can cause complications.

If you shovel incorrectly, you risk suffering from everything from tendonitis to tight shoulders. If you slip and fall while shoveling, you run the risk of sprains and fractures, according to Patti Beggs, a certified athletic trainer at Spectrum Health.

Treatment options for winter-related injuries? They should be avoided at all costs. Play it safe and take the necessary safeguards.

Shovel snow, for example, often and enlist the assistance of someone else if at all possible.

Beggs advised against bending at the hip when lifting; instead, use your legs. You’ll be relieved of some of the burden.

In addition, prepare ahead and don’t rush through an outdoor project. Taking your time will help you remember to be cautious.

It’s important to let someone know where you’re going before venturing out into the snow for an activity. Carry a cell phone so you may call for assistance if needed.

Frostbite can occur if you don’t wear suitable gear, Beggs warned.

Stretching and warming up properly are essential for most winter activities. Also, stay hydrated at all times.

In order to avoid winter injuries, always be prepared for your surroundings and err on the side of caution, she advised.

Grasp the handrail.
Keep an eye on your surroundings at all times. If you have difficulty walking, Lee recommends utilizing a cane or other support devices like banisters, handrails, or a walking stick.

For those who are able to afford it, Lee recommends that people, especially the elderly, wear boots with strong ankle support and traction.

Don’t take any risks if you’ve already been hurt. Keep your distance from the ice.

In the event of a fall and suspected fracture or concussion, Lee advised seeking immediate medical attention in an emergency department.

A medical practitioner should be consulted if there is any uncertainty as to the seriousness of the damage, Lee advised.

As long as you’re confident you didn’t break any bones and the injuries can be treated with rest and ice, you should do so. Elevate your leg or ankle if it’s hurting.