5 Precautions You Should Be Taking During The Winter to Protect Yourself From Brain Injury
Winter is a beautiful time of the year. A perfect blanket of snow covers our front lawns, hoar frost collects on tree branches, and delicate icicles dangle from above. However, when the temperature drops and snow and ice cover the ground, slippery conditions can lead to falls and accidents that may contribute to brain injury.
According to Statistics Canada, 25% of all serious injuries in Canada occur in the winter months. This is why it is so important to make sure that you are taking every precaution to protect your brain during the deep freeze.
Brain injury directly impacts 1 in 3 Canadians, but there are steps that you can take to avoid being a part of that statistic. Whether you are outside participating in winter activities like skiing or skating, or are completing everyday tasks such as shoveling your walk or driving to work, we created a list that lays out some essential precautions you can take to help keep your brain safe this winter.
Keep an eye out for patches of ice
Pay attention to where you are walking and make sure to spot, and avoid, the patches of ice in your path. Parking lots are notorious for being slippery during the wintertime, so make sure to slow down and be careful when walking back to your car with your groceries.
It is also important to look out for patches of ice on the road when driving. A great way to spot black ice on the road is to look for pavement that looks dark and glossy compared to the pavement surrounding it. The most common places for black ice to develop is shaded or tree-covered parts of pavement.
Wear shoes that give you grip
The wintertime calls for practical shoes that are made to provide you with traction on snow and ice. When picking out winter footwear, look for shoes with “anti-slip” technology. If you are looking to find the best anti-slip winter footwear, Rate My Treads tested both casual and work safety footwear for their slip resistance. You can find the results of their study here: http://www.ratemytreads.com/ratings/
Plan ahead and give yourself extra time to get where you need to go
During the wintertime, it is always important to give yourself extra travel time. Whether by car, foot, or other mode of transportation, make sure to check the weather conditions ahead of time and to designate an extra 15 minutes to your travel time. This preparation will ensure that you get where you are going in a safe matter.
Wear a properly fitted helmet
When participating in winter activities such as ice-skating, snowboarding, skiing, or snowmobiling, always remember to wear a properly fitted helmet that is made for that specific activity.
Parachute Canada published an informative helmet guide that tells you which kind of helmet you should be wearing for which activity you are participating in. Check it out here: http://www.parachutecanada.org/downloads/resources/Which_Helmet_For_Which_Activity_English.pdf
Practice safe winter driving
Driving in the winter is vastly different than driving in any other season. When driving in the winter, make sure to keep a safe distance from the car ahead of you, and to lower your speed when ice and snowfall are present. For other safe winter driving tips, check out this post from the Canada Safety Council: https://canadasafetycouncil.org/traffic-safety/winter-driving-tips
Thank you for taking the time to read about how to keep your brain safe during the winter. We hope that you will implement the recommended precautions above into your daily routine during snowy and icy months.
If you would like to learn more about brain injury in general, Brain Care Centre operates a brain injury information line that is free for anyone to call. Brain injury is a very complex field that involves the coordination of many professionals and support organizations. Brain Care Centre is here to help guide you along the way.
(780) 477-7575 or toll-free 1-800-425-5552. Please ask to speak to the Information Coordinator.
Written By: Paige Simpson
Paige Simpson is a Canadian born writer and student living in Edmonton, Alberta. She is currently in her third year of the Bachelor of Communication Studies program at MacEwan University.