Tips on how to stay safe and healthy in winter
Although winter comes around every year at the same time, many are not ready for its arrival. The cold weather comes along with many hazards including: increased likelihood of illness, increased chances of house fires due to indoor heating systems, increased chance of power outages and being stranded in your home or car and much more dangerous travelling conditions. If you prepare correctly for winter you will be more likely to stay safe and healthy when the temperature starts to drop.
Prepare your home
Install weather stripping and insulate your home. Make sure you insulate water pipes that run along outside walls to prevent them freezing over.
Check your heating systems are working properly. Have heating systems, fireplaces and chimneys professionally serviced.
Ensure your smoke detector is working, test the batteries monthly and replace them twice a year when you change the clocks.
Install carbon monoxide detectors to alert you to the presence of the deadly, odourless, colourless gas which can increase in winter months due to us being inside more often. Check the batteries regularly and change them at the same time as replacing your smoke detector batteries. The symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning are: headaches, dizziness, weakness, an upset stomach, chest pain, vomiting and confusion. By being aware of these symptoms you can act quickly if any occur to prevent serious damage.
Ensure you closely monitor any fires or burning candles. Ensure they are fully extinguished before you go to bed and don’t leave the house with them left on or burning.
Use heating devices carefully. Space heaters, electric blankets and heating pads can cause serious fires if not used safely. To reduce the risks of house fires only use these devices before bed and ensure they are unplugged before you go to sleep.
Be prepared for power outages/emergencies
Stock up on foods that don’t need cooking or refrigeration and clean water.
Ensure your mobile phone is always charged, and have a backup battery operated charger on hand.
Create an emergency kit including: battery-operated flashlights, extra batteries, a first aid kit, extra medicine and baby items if needed, blankets and warm clothing, cat litter or sand for icy paths.
Prepare your car for winter driving
Always check the forecast and road conditions before you travel. Avoid driving when possible if the roads are icy or snowy.
Check your tire tread and if necessary, replace the tires with all-weather or snow tires.
Keep your gas tank, windscreen washer fluid and anti-freeze full.
Keep de-icer and a scraper in your vehicle.
Keep a winter emergency kit in your car. This should include: a shovel, blankets, flashlight, portable phone charger, extra batteries, food and water, a first-aid kit and booster cables.
When spending time outdoors take these precautions
Wear appropriate clothing. You should wear a waterproof, wind-resistant coat, waterproof boots with a good grip, plenty of layers of warm clothing, a hat, scarf and gloves.
Work slowly and carefully when partaking in outdoor tasks.
Always carry a charged mobile phone when going outdoors.
Carry an emergency kit with snacks, water and first aid items when participating in outdoor activities.
If you plan to travel, ensure you prepare accordingly
Be aware of the current forecast weather conditions. Avoid travelling when advisories have been issued.
If you are travelling inform a friend or relative of your proposed route and when you expect to arrive.
If you use public transport to get to work, check the night before and in the morning when you get up if there are any disruptions so you can prepare accordingly and inform your employer.
Ensure you are wrapped up warm when travelling and have snacks, water, a fully charged mobile phone and anything else you may need for long distance travelling.
Prepare to stay healthy both mentally and physically
The spread of illnesses like colds and flu increase during winter due to the cold weather. The shorter days and colder temperatures can often lead people to lack the motivation to stay active, fit and healthy, which can increase the risk of developing an illness even further. The winter months are often very busy both in and out of work with deadlines approaching before Christmas, increased staff absences and the financial cost of preparing for Christmas many people suffer from stress, anxiety and depression. Below are some tips and tricks you can follow which can help to improve your mental and physical wellbeing in the winter months.
Get your annual flu vaccination. The spread of flu increases during the winter months and the best defence against it is to ensure you are vaccinated.
Wash your hands regularly. This helps prevent the spread of germs and bacteria. If you can’t get to a sink, use hand sanitiser.
Eat a healthy and balanced diet with plenty of fruit and vegetables. With so many delicious treats available during the festive period there is a temptation to overindulge but you must remember to have these treats in moderation and ensure you are still eating healthily throughout this period.
Get a good night’s sleep. Go to bed and wake up at the same time every day and ensure you are getting enough sleep so you feel rested and prepared for the day. Lack of sleep can increase your chances of getting sick.
Exercise regularly. This can help to reduce stress, improve your mental health and also helps to keep you fit and healthy so you can fight off illness.
Follow these tips and tricks to ensure you stay healthy and safe this winter. Kays Medical offer a range of first aid emergency kits and equipment for your home, car or workplace which can help in the winter months when an emergency occurs. We can also offer hand sanitiser to prevent the spread of germs and flu vaccinations which can help prevent the spread of disease in your workplace. Contact us today to find out more about how we can help keep you safe and healthy in winter.