Preventing Common Injuries and Illnesses During Winter

preventing injuries in winter

The colder temperatures, crisp air, and bitter winds can only mean one thing: winter is almost here! With all of the fun holidays, traditions, and activities right around the corner, DOCS Urgent Care wants to help make sure you are healthy and safe. That’s why we have created a list of common winter-related injuries and illnesses and how to prevent them.

Slipping on Black Ice

Few things are more annoying than slipping on patches of ice. What is even worse is when you can’t see the ice! That’s the problem with black ice—it is clear and practically unnoticeable on the ground. Slipping and falling can cause mild bruises or long-lasting muscle pain. A good way to avoid slipping is being prepared. Wear closed toe shoes with good grip when you go out walking. If you are walking at night, carry a flashlight to look for icy patches. Be aware of common areas that freeze or ice that could be hidden under snow.

Shoveling Snow

Some people love the snow, and some people are less fond of it. Whatever your opinion may be, it often has to get shoveled either way. Snow shoveling can be a weary task that takes its toll on the body. This continued physical exertion, especially in cold weather, can subject you to injuries or illnesses. One way to avoid this is by wearing enough layers. This keeps your body warm, and in turn, keeps your muscles and joints loose. Don’t be afraid to take breaks if you are feeling tired or out of breath. Shoveling also requires a lot of repeated movement. Stretching before and after snow shoveling helps keep your body limber and void of unnecessary pain.

Common Cold

The common cold is recognized by symptoms of a runny nose, headache, and overall weariness. This can put a damper on the winter spirit. The best way to avoid catching a cold is by staying clean. Make sure to frequently wash your hands, especially after handling public items. Wash with warm water and soap to effectively eliminate germs. It is also helpful to use disposable tissues instead of cloth handkerchiefs, which can promote the spreading of additional germs.

Catching the Flu

The flu is much like the common cold, but with more severe effects. It can often lead to a fever and enduring bodily aches. The flu is easily transferrable, and prevention measures should be taken as soon as possible. The best way to avoid the flu is by getting your flu shot. Receiving your flu shot annually helps protect you from this illness. Come to our Bethel, CT office today to receive your flu shot.

Strep or Sore Throats

Sore throats are typical during the winter months. The drier air can cause throat irritation and slight inflammation. If not treated, it can lead to strep throat. If you begin to feel slight irritation in your throat, gargle with warm water and a teaspoon of salt. This helps soothe inflammation. Also, make sure your body stays warm, especially at night.

Dry Skin

Dry skin occurs with the decrease in temperature. There is less moisture in the air, leading to cracked skin, ashy elbows and knees, and increased skin irritation. To avoid this, apply moisturizer to affected potentially affected areas. It is most beneficial if applied after a warm shower. Avoid taking hot showers, as the drastic change in temperature and further increase irritation.

Sports or Activity Related Injuries

The winter weather also brings about new opportunities for sports and activities. Common among these are skiing, snowboarding, skating, and sledding. While fun, if not careful, these activities can cause injuries. Always take precautionary measures before engaging in winter activities. Make sure your playing area is clear of any hidden obstacles. Wear enough layers to stay warm in the cold temperatures while also keeping your muscles loose. If you are participating in a high intensity sport, stretch before and after to keep your body limber and pain-free.

Vehicle Accidents

This time of the year also involves plenty of travelling. Small visits to the department store or long visits to see family, it is important to stay safe on the roads. There can be unexpected delays and traffic jams, so always keep a safe distance between you and the car in front. Always wear a seat belt, and make sure your vehicle is in proper condition. Be mindful of surrounding drivers, and drive slower if necessary.

We hope you have a wonderful winter season full of joy and happiness. DOCS Urgent Care wants to make sure it is also healthy and safe. If you have any questions about the listed ailments or other conditions, please give your nearest DOCS location a call