Call it what you want – a winter wonderland, ski season or flu season – winter can be dangerous. During the winter months, the cold, inclement weather can strain our bodies, resulting in unwelcome illness or injury…unless we take the proper precautions.

Slip & Falls

One of the biggest accidents that occurs during the colder months is slip and falls. Although it sounds simple, slipping and falling can happen too easily if you don’t pay close attention. Slip and falls can occur outside in snowy and icy areas. The wet weather will find a way inside, being tracked on floors, making them slippery. Wrist fractures, serious hip fractures and head injuries can all occur from slip and fall accidents. To avoid slip and falls, make sure to pay attention to where you are walking and take smaller steps.

Shoveling Snow

Shoveling snow is another common winter injury, though we don’t get as much snow here in Paris, TX compared to other parts of the United States. Shoveling snow can add stress to your body, especially on your back, due to the twisting motion and lifting of snow. Using an ergonomic shovel can help lessen the stress of shoveling snow. As always, wear slip resistant boots and dress appropriately. It’s important to listen to your body and stop if you have shortness of breath or chest pain.

Winter Driving

Driving can be a dangerous practice in the colder months, especially when the temperatures hit freezing. Rain turns to ice, which turns the roads into an unwanted ice rink. Make sure you take your time and slow down when driving in icy, hazardous conditions, and avoid changing lanes quickly. Low traction, low visibility and slippery conditions lead to many accidents that send people to the ER.

Frostbite

Frostbite is a common occurrence when the temperatures dip to freezing temperatures. We’ve all felt the tingling chill on our nose and fingers after being outside in the cold, but frostbite occurs when the skin literally begins to freeze. It’s vital to keep your skin covered as much as possible when venturing out into the cold. The fingers, toes and nose are the first places frostbite usually occurs, so make sure the wear gloves or mittens, thick wool socks and a scarf to avoid frostbite.

Should you have the unfortunate accident of injuring yourself, Paris Regional Medical Center is here to support your full recovery. Our Rehabilitation Unit can help patients who have sustained functional loss due to a disabling illness or injury. Our services include Physical Therapy, Occupational Therapy, Speech Therapy, 24-hour rehabilitation nursing, wound care, pain management, nutrition, prosthetic/orthotic and medical specialties to manage individual patient conditions. For more information, visit http://parisregionalmedical.com/departments/rehabilitation-center/