It’s official – the groundhog predicted six more weeks of winter. The cold and snow have been even worse than usual this year, and it seems that there may be more in store for us this season. Accordingly, our team at Dr. Kaplansky’s office would like to take an opportunity to remind our friends and neighbors to stay healthy and safe this winter. Be sure to stay vigilant when it comes to keeping your home and family safe.
Prevent Slipping and Falling
Slipping and falling on ice is a serious concern during the wintertime. One misstep on a slippery step or sidewalk and you could suffer bruising and even broken bones. To avoid the potential for injury, make sure that the walkway and steps are cleared of snow and ice.
The use of rock salt is effective in keeping your walkway clear; however, it has its drawbacks. Rock salt can cause damage to asphalt and concrete. It can also harm the plants that are lying dormant under the snow in your yard. Rock salt may also irritate your pets’ paws.
If you’re concerned about the potentially damaging effects of rock salt on your yard or your pet, you may want to consider purchasing an organic ice-melter. For traction in the driveway, you can use a non-toxic kitty litter.
Remember that slipping and falling can happen to anyone. Pay close attention when maneuvering across icy walkways, and while stepping out of your car or truck. If you have elderly or disabled neighbors, try and find some time to assist them with shoveling and de-icing this year.
Heat Your Home Carefully
It can be tempting to try and find cheap ways to heat your home in the winter. Some people may turn to alternate heating methods like space heaters or wood burning stoves. If you heat your home using alternative methods, be sure to use them safely:
- Keep flammable materials including paper products and textiles several feet away from space heater and fireplaces
- Never leave your space heater or wood burner unattended
- Never use heat from a cooking stove or oven to heat your home
- Keep a fire extinguisher on hand and make sure that your fire alarm is in working order
Create an Automobile Safety Kit
Slippery winter roads can lead to accidents or even becoming stranded in your vehicle. The cold could even prevent your car from starting. Keep an emergency safety kit in your car during the winter months. Keeping a snow shovel in your car can come in handy if you need to clear snow away from spinning tires. Also consider keeping blankets, hand-warmers, and emergency snacks in your car.
Protect Pets From the Cold
Please also remember to keep your furry friends safe from the cold. Consider bringing pets inside on particularly cold days, and be sure to provide a water source for both pets and livestock that will remain unfrozen.
At Dr. Kaplansky’s office, we hope our fellow community members in Gasport, Middleton, Lockport, and Medina stay safe and warm this winter!