By: Charles Harriday, Installation Safety Management Office
Ice covered streets, parking lots and sidewalks are some indications that winter and cold weather have arrived. Be aware that increased mishaps are likely to occur, but can be prevented through daily preparation prior to leaving home for work and after arriving at your destination.
Follow these tips to have a safe trip in to work:
- Remember to use care when entering and exiting your vehicle.
- Wear shoes or boots that provide traction on snow and ice.
- Boots made of non-slip rubber or neoprene with grooved soles are your best choice.
- Use a backpack to carry items, keeping your hands and arms free, creating a better balance.
- Increase your travel time, to avoid the rush of the morning commute.
Upon arrival remember these safety tips:
- Walk in designated walkways; taking shortcuts over snow piles and other frozen areas can be hazardous.
- While walking, look ahead and walk flat-footed.
- If you should start to fall, avoid landing on your knees, wrist or spine; try to fall on a fleshy part of your body such as your side.
For those with children, please ensure their safety through proper winter attire:
- Hypothermia occurs when a child has been exposed to extremely cold weather and not dressed for the elements. Be mindful if your child is shivering, body temperature has decreased, appears lethargic, clumsy and their speech begins to slur. All signs of possible hypothermia, call for assistance.
- Dress your children with an extra layer of clothing (one more than what you would wear) to include: long johns, hats, gloves, socks and shoes.
As your children participate in outside events, remember the elements and effects on their body:
- Be mindful of the amount of time spent outside playing.
- Wear Personal Protective Equipment such as helmets, goggles and gloves while skiing, snowboarding or snowmobiling.
- It is recommended that children under the age of 6 not ride on snowmobiles.
- Never leave a child alone, supervision is the key to safety and an effective response should an accident occur.
Winter can be a wonderland, but remember Safety is the key and should be first!
For more safety tips for winter weather, visit our website www.detrick.army.mil/safety and select Safety News & Tips or email us at SafetyOutreach@amedd.army.mil. Additional Safety Tips for children can be found through the American Academy of Pediatrics at www.aap.org.