The worst of the winter storm that dumped up to a foot and a half of snow on our region may be over, but snow safety is more important than ever.
Whether you’re playing in the snow or shoveling the sidewalk, here’s what you should do to prevent accidents and injuries.
DON’T drive until it's safe to do so.
If you must go out Sunday, check that your tires are properly inflated and use your seatbelt. Check out AAA’s compilation of winter driving tips.
DON’T walk without knowing your surroundings.
Be careful of snow and ice, and take steps slowly. Avoid shortcuts, too. Shortcuts can be dangerous because those paths are less likely to be cleared and treated. Also, be aware of what you’re walking under. Snow or ice could be falling from rooftops or trees.
DON’T sled if you don’t know the hill.
Sledding can be fun, but it can lead to injury if riders aren’t careful. Make sure the hill you choose isn’t too steep and that it has a flat area at the bottom to safely glide to a stop. Avoid sledding in areas the end near a street or parking lot or by ponds, trees or fences. Dress warm to avoid frostbite!
DON’T shovel snow with your back.
Try to push the snow rather than lift it. But if you have to lift it, don’t fill the shovel all the way. Also, lift with your legs to prevent injury. Make sure to take breaks often to avoid exhaustion. People often forget that shoveling is a strenuous activity.
DON’T heat your home with stoves or charcoal grills.
When the power is out, it can be tempting to heat your home by stove or by moving the charcoal grill inside. These heaters release carbon monoxide, and it can poison you without you even knowing because it’s a colorless and odorless gas.
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DON’T drink alcohol to stay warm.
Alcohol might make you feel warm, but it’s an old myth (sorry!). Alcohol actually decreases your core temperature and reverses some reflexes that control body temperature, like shivering, according to The New York Times and a study by the Army Research Institute of Environmental Medicine.
Be sure to enjoy the snow, but make sure you take the proper precautions to stay safe.