Safety Tips For Winter Weather

The Université de Sherbrooke obtains the highest Canadian score in the international GreenMetric 2020 ranking. Photo : UdeS (CNW Group/Université de Sherbrooke)

Winter is a great time for outdoor activities and adventures, but it also brings cold temperatures and wet conditions. The Ontario Medical Association offers tips to help everyone prepare for winter while staying healthy and safe.

  1. Before you head outdoors, check the weather forecast for any advisories or warnings. If there is a significant wind chill, limit the time you spend outside.
  2. Dressing in layers with a wind- and water-resistant outer layer will help to keep you warm when temperatures dip. Don’t forget a hat, gloves and scarf to prevent frostbite.
  3. Slips and falls can happen at any time, but winter conditions can be especially hazardous. Give yourself extra time so you do not need to rush and choose a route that’s less icy and better lit.
  4. Wearing the proper footwear can also reduce your risk of slipping and falling on ice in harsh winter conditions.
  5. Shovelling snow can not only hurt your back, it can also be hard on your heart. It’s important to go slowly and take breaks when needed.
  6. To help protect your back, use a smaller shovel and take many small loads of snow instead of fewer heavy ones.
  7. While driving, take weather conditions into consideration. Wet, icy or snow-covered roads can make driving dangerous. Drive slowly and leave plenty of distance between vehicles.
  8. On dark evenings, drivers should pay extra attention to cyclists or pedestrians who may be harder to see.
  9. Stock your vehicle with an emergency kit that includes water, gloves, booster cables, a small shovel, windshield wiper fluid, first aid kit, flashlight and non-perishable energy foods.
  10. If you have one, carry a fully charged cellphone so you can call for help, and if possible let family members know if you are going on a journey, even a long hike.


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