by Mitchel Musselman, ATC

Don’t get caught in the cold! If you are one of the lucky ones who get to experience winter (this topic might be a little less crucial for those in the nice winter weather states), the cold season is just around the corner. Everyone through all walks of life can utilize these tips during winter. Staying PREPARED and injury-free isn’t exclusive to a work environment. Injury prevention is about to staying ahead of the game when you’re not at work too. The cold weather brings extra hazards to keep watch for in our daily lives.

Winterize Yourself

Stay safe and warm and take comfort in having this checklist handy as you head into the cold.

  • Cat lovers this is your moment to shine! You know that cat litter you keep on hand to keep things clean and smelling nice? Keep a small bag in your car. You can pack it behind a vehicle wheel when it’s icy to gain traction if it’s slick or if you need a little extra ‘oomph’ when you’re stuck.
  • Power outage? Food will keep in a closed fridge for about 4 hours during a power outage (with the door closed, mind you). But if it’s looking like it’ll be awhile, save that food from spoiling by storing it in coolers and setting the coolers outside to stay cold!
  • Slippery just outside your door? Those first few steps out your front door to your car or to the mailbox can be the most treacherous. Use salt on your sidewalk and driveway to decrease slickness. No salt? Try using coffee grounds! For those in the Midwest, consult our Injury Prevention Specialist, Aaron Weidman for some help. He seems to have a never-ending supply of coffee on him at all times.
  • Running low on matches or kindling? During those long, cold nights, use dryer lint as an easy fire started to get the wood burning.
  • Walk like a bird! Avoid the nasty slip, trip, or fall on a slippery surface by adjusting the way you walk. Normally, when we walk, our legs’ ability to support our weight is split mid-stride. Penguins have mastered the way to walk on ice by keeping their center of gravity over their front leg. Think of yourself as a penguin and you’ll be alright!

Commuter & Home Injury Prevention Tips

Here are a few more tips to keep in mind!

  • Tire pressure – you can lose up to 1 psi per 10° drop in temperature. Check those tires before heading out!
  • Check your fireplace – there’s no time like the present for an annual checkup before it gets heavy use.
  • Change batteries in smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors (if you didn’t remember to do it during Daylight Saving Time).
  • House the hose – put away hoses, shut off water valves, and insulate faucets.

Mitchel Musselman, ATC || Mitchel has his bachelor’s in athletic training along with over 7 years of athletic training experience. In addition to the industrial setting, he has worked in the high school and orthopedic clinic settings. Outside of work, he enjoys golfing, video games, spending time with wife, two young children, and two dogs (Jordy and Oakley).

Be sure to check out our other blogs for further injury prevention education and tips for the industrial athlete from Work Right NW!