Woman walking on snowy sidewalk

How to Stay Safe in Ice and Snow

When snow hits this season, many will bundle up and head outdoors to enjoy the weather. Whether you’re taking the dog for a walk or starting a snowball fight, here are some safety precautions to take to make sure your winter is wonderful.

Be ready before the snow falls

When the weatherman says snow is on the way, it’s time to make sure your cold-weather gear is in good shape. If your gloves have holes or the soles of your boots are starting to fall off, hit the shopping mall before first snowfall to replace them.

You can prepare your home for the snow by ensuring your furnace is in working condition. Don’t forget to spread ice melt on your driveway and any paths leading to your home to avoid any unnecessary falls!

Learn how to walk on ice

A winter stroll can turn painful if you slip and fall on ice. You can keep yourself safe by learning to walk on the ice:

  • Take short steps, and don’t lift your legs any higher than you have to.
  • Try to keep your center of gravity over your front leg.
  • Most importantly, take it slow.

Be particularly careful to avoid black ice, which can be difficult to see on roads and sidewalks.

Stay safe while you shovel

Nearly 100 people die every winter from one of the most basic wintertime chores: shoveling snow.

During cold weather, your blood vessels contract and your heart doesn’t receive as much oxygen. Shoveling snow can get your blood pressure and heart rate up, which spells the possibility of cardiac arrest.

Take frequent breaks when shoveling, and don’t lift large amounts of snow. The more snow on each lift means more strain on your heart.

If you’re concerned about your heart after clearing ice and snow around your home, consult a doctor immediately. For more on your heart health, view the Heart and Vascular topic on Health Minute.