It is finally that time of the year…negative degree temperatures, icy sidewalks, and lots and lots of hot chocolate. It is important to be conscious of some general tips for staying safe and happy during the winter season.
- Dress for the temperature. Always assure that you have a pair of gloves/mittens, a hat, and scarf easily accessible. Temperatures in Wisconsin are likely to shift throughout the day, especially after the sun sets, and it is important to be prepared for any possible outcome. While inside, keep your temperature around 65 degrees or warmer if possible.
- Protect your fingers, toes, ears, and nose from frostbite and hypothermia. Frostbite is usually caused by cold and windy weather. However, you are still able to get frostbite if you are covered, so layer up! Hypothermia, according to the CDC, occurs when a person’s body temperature drops too low. Over half of hypothermia deaths are of people over the age of 65. Bundle up and dress appropriately during this time of the year!
- Be a cautious driver and pedestrian. The roads/sidewalks are extremely slippery and are usually coated in invisible black ice. Schedule a few extra minutes to get where you need to go- no accident is worth it. Keep a blanket, jumper cables, and a shovel in your car in case of an accident. Along with this, make sure your car has been serviced and is safe to drive throughout the winter season. It is important to get things such as your tires, oil, windshield wipers, and battery checked just to be safe. Keep a phone on you when you are traveling in case of emergency.
- Combat loneliness and wintertime depression. Winter can be a difficult time for a lot of people. Maintaining a healthy diet, staying as active as possible, scheduling an adequate sleep routine, and exposing yourself to some type of light are all crucial elements of fighting wintertime depression. Eating more produce-based items, such as vegetable soups or stews, rather than wintertime comfort foods will make you feel better physically. If needed, reach out and seek help if you have any mental concerns during this time.
- Be aware of carbon monoxide poisoning. Stoves, fireplaces, and heat sources must be cleaned and vented or else they may leak carbon monoxide. It is important to have carbon monoxide and smoke detectors in your home, a window open when using a stove, and knowledgeable regarding signs of possible poisoning. These signs include: headache, blurred vision, nausea, confusion, and dizziness. Carbon monoxide cannot be seen or smelled, so it is crucial that you are aware of these signs and take the adequate safety measures.
There is nothing more important than your happiness and well-being. Take the proper precautions that will allow you to thrive this winter season. Remember, it is more important to be over prepared than under prepared. Be safe and enjoy the snow!
This content is free for use with credit to the City of Madison - Madison Senior Center and a link back to the original post.
Category: Health & Wellness, Know Your Resources