It may or may not come as a surprise to you that winter storms cause a major influx in injuries. It isn’t just the surge of car accidents due to slippery roads that brings victims to the emergency room. There are a slew of injuries that can happen from simply walking and slipping, shoveling, and using a snow blower.
Slippery Roads and Sidewalks
Slips and falls can be particularly dangerous during winter storms. You can hit your head or break a limb trying to break the fall. If you’re on a blood thinner or anti-coagulant and you fall and hit your head, you could be posing a serious risk to your life.
If you must walk outside during a bad winter storm, take it slow. Ice the sidewalks if possible. Wear sturdy boots or place rubber grippers on the bottom of your shoes. Make sure you are aware of your settings and pay attention to the temperatures.
There are quite a few injuries you can experience while shoveling. Not only can you slip and fall, but you are at risk of over-exerting yourself, especially if the snow is heavy and deep. Because you don’t shovel year-round, you aren’t accustomed to that particular activity, so the change in routine can pose a risk to you. Heart attacks aren’t uncommon. Back injuries are even more common. Before you get started, talk to your doctor to see if you are fit enough to shovel. Tackle the shoveling in increments to spread out the workload or enlist help from a nearby neighbor. Pay attention to your shoveling technique; use proper form and make sure you stretch afterward.
A flood of hand injuries during winter snowstorms might seem odd, but emergency rooms see all kinds of patients with severe hand injuries after using a snow blower. Often times, it’s because they aren’t accustomed to using a snow blower and they think something is caught inside it. They stick something in there—a hand or a tool—and it ends up getting caught. This can result in some pretty nasty hand injuries that result in the amputation of digits. The moral of the story? Don’t stick your hand in a snow blower. If you think it’s broken, make sure the machine is powered down before you attempt to fix it.