Winter: when snow days become synonymous for fun with your family! As a parent, you shouldn’t be worrying or over-stressed about keeping the family safe and healthy when the temperature drops to perfect snowman-making weather.

When you’re out enjoying the day with the kids at the sledding hill, on the ski slopes, or just warming up inside, there are many quick health and safety tips that can keep your family safe for the winter!

Here’s our handy winter safety and wellness guide to keep your family safe, healthy, and ready to enjoy the wintry fun!

Take your time when shoveling snow and pace yourself!

Snowman time, or early commute time, may also mean “shovel time” if you experience significant snowfall overnight. However, it is important to keep a steady pace when shoveling to avoid any potential healthcare risks!

Heavy snow can create additional strain on the heart if a person is shoveling too fast or too hard for an extended time period. Shoveling heavy snow increases the risk of heart attack or a related cardiovascular complication, so make sure to pace yourself, take breaks, and steadily shovel.

In addition, it may help to take turns if there is more than one person in your household. Frequently switch turns when shoveling to ease individual strain and related cardiovascular risks.

Prepare for icy surfaces when walking!

Icy surfaces, especially in public areas, can increase your risk of a fall or similar injury during winter.

Be mindful of potential ice build-up near your home by spreading out rock salt to help the ice melt faster. Make sure you also have a good pair of boots that make it easier to walk across ice, snow, and black ice (when transparent ice on asphalt or hard surfaces is not easily visible).

In addition, ice can be an extreme hazard on the roadways. Drive carefully and slowly in case there is ice or slippery surfaces on the road. You can always carry a safety kit that includes cones, a spare tire, a first aid kit, small flares, and spare gasoline should you get stuck in a snowstorm on the road.

Make sure to also read weather reports to prepare for any travel throughout the week!

Bundle up in layers to keep warm and avoid frostbite!

Bundling up is critical when traveling in extremely cold temperatures. Overexposure to cold temperature can lead to frostbite, hypothermia, and heart problems without the proper clothing.

The golden rule to bundling up is to have a warm outer layer like a winter jacket or coat, a middle layer to contain heat, and your normal inner layer to wear when indoors. During intense snowfall it may also help to wear those handy winter boots and snow pants to avoid getting your pants wet and cold.

Here’s to a happy, healthy, and safe winter from us at AFC Urgent Care Shelton! Stay warm, relax, and have some snowy fun!