Most Common Winter Injuries to Watch Out For
January 12, 2021 | Personal Injury
It can be frustratingly easy to fall victim to an accident or an injury, especially during the winter. According to the National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS), winter conditions are about twice as deadly as summer ones. Whether you’ve slipped and fallen on an icy sidewalk or gotten in a car accident due to poor weather conditions, winter can be a dangerous time.
An injury can be costly as well as disruptive to your everyday life in a number of ways, so it’s wise to be extra alert this winter to avoid injury. Here are some of the most common winter injuries to watch out for.
Slips and Falls on Ice
Slipping and falling on icy ground is one of the most common winter injuries. Falling can result in bruises, sprains, or even broken bones. To avoid slips and falls, allow extra time to walk slowly. Always wear shoes with plenty of grip when you know you’ll be walking outside.
If you’ve fallen on someone else’s property due to the owner’s negligence to make reasonable efforts to make the area safe, you may have a legal claim for compensation.
Muscle Strain from Shoveling
Shoveling snow can be a strenuous task. Muscle strains are common injuries that can be caused by strenuous activities such as shoveling.
Strains can happen in two ways. You might feel the effects immediately from a pulled muscle, or not realize you’re hurt until the next day, by which point you may have already overworked your muscles even more.
Be careful when shoveling, and listen to your body’s cues, taking care not to push your body past its limits.
Whiplash from Car Crashes
Winter car accidents are common for a few different reasons. Road conditions can be dangerous, with rain or ice making road surfaces slippery. Fog, mist, rain, or snow can reduce visibility. Additionally, increased numbers of parties and gatherings around the holidays mean drunk driving is a more common occurrence.
Car crashes can result in numerous different injuries, such as whiplash, broken bones, concussions, etc. To reduce your risk of winter car crashes, ensure your car and tires are in good condition for snow, limit driving in stormy conditions when possible, and follow other safe winter driving tips. Keep in mind that if you have been in a car accident that wasn’t your fault, you should speak to a lawyer to review your options.
Winter Sports Injuries
Winter sports are a fun winter activity to participate in as a family, but they can also be extremely dangerous. Many children and adults need treatment each winter for injuries such as concussions after a sled or skis hit an obstacle like a tree or broken wrists when snowboarders try to break a hard fall with an outstretched hand.
To avoid a damaging injury such as a concussion, make you use your sled or skis in an area free from any obstacles, and always wear a helmet. Children should be supervised at all times, and young children should always be accompanied by an adult.
Burns from the Oven
During the winter, many people are cooking and baking, and thus using the oven more than usual. Whether you’re baking cozy treats or feeding a large family for Christmas lunch, be careful to practice kitchen safety and avoid burns from the oven and stove.
Many oven burns are minor. They may blister and be painful, but most will heal on their own. If you do burn yourself on the oven, hold the burned area under cool or room temperature water, and then keep the burn moisturized and bandaged until it heals.
If you have been burned badly or are worried your burn may be more serious than first-degree, seek medical attention.
If your skin is left exposed to extremely cold temperatures, you might be at risk of frostbite.
Frostbite is usually experienced in the extremities, including the fingers, toes, ears, and face.
Frostbite results in numbness, redness, and a feeling of pins and needles in the affected area. In more severe cases, you can have blistering or scabs, which may leave you susceptible to infections and other health conditions.
To avoid frostbite, minimize the areas you leave exposed. Always wear proper clothing when going outside in cold temperatures, especially when you’re outside for extended periods of time, including a hat, scarf, and gloves. If you have to leave a body part exposed to the cold—for example, when taking your gloves off to use your hands while outside—don’t leave it exposed for long.
Falling Off Ladders
People will go to great lengths to get their holiday decorations looking perfect. Whether you’re hanging lights outside or putting the star on top of the tree, a fall can be a risk.
To avoid falling, always use a sturdy ladder or step-ladder, and never climb on other furniture to reach higher. Make sure the ladder is placed on even ground, in a well-lit area. Have someone at the bottom to steady the ladder, and don’t stretch further than you can reach comfortably.
In any scenario, taking some basic precautions could help you enjoy a happy, injury-free winter season. If you do get injured due to no fault of your own, contact a New York personal injury attorney to see how you can be compensated.
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