Bring it Home® Orange County

There is no doubt that winter is an excellent season for many outdoor activities. Some of these activities are sledding, snowboarding, and skating. However, keep in mind that cold weather, snow, and ice can be fun but also risky and dangerous for kids.

When your walkways and driveway are coated in a very thick blanket of snow, you know that it is time to grab a shovel for snow shoveling. We know that it can be a dreaded chore, especially when you are busy celebrating Thanksgiving or Christmas. However, you have to do it in order to keep you and your family safe. However, note that before tackling the first snowfall of this season, you have to take some time and read these snow safety tips to help avoid potential injuries.

It is no secret that heavy snow can easily immobilize a region and even paralyze a city. It can also close airports, strand commuters, stop the flow of supplies, and even disrupt medical and emergency services. Also, keep in mind that the weight of snow can also cause roofs to collapse and even knock down power lines and trees. 

The following snow and winter safety tips will help you and your children enjoy winter activities safely.

Snow Shoveling

The following safety tips will help keep you safe when you set out to shovel in the cold.

Warm-up

You should warm your muscles before you head out to shovel. You can do this by doing a few light movements, like walking in place or bending side to side.

Push Instead of Lifting 

Did you know that pushing the snow using your shovel instead of lifting will help lower the strain on the body? Also, when lifting snow, it is best to bend your knees and frequently use your legs.

Wear Layers 

One of the best things to do is dress in layers and then remove them as you gradually get warmer to help maintain a desirable and comfortable body temperature.

Keep up with Snowfall 

You can make your job easier by shoveling snow shortly after it falls. This is because it is fluffier and lighter. Note that the longer snow will stay on the ground, the wetter it will become. Keep in mind that wet snow is heavier and hence harder to move.

Stay Hydrated

You should drink plenty of water and other fluids in order to stay hydrated while shoveling snow.

Choose the Shovel Wisely 

Did you know that ergonomically-designed shovels will help reduce the amount of bending that you have to do?

Winter Play and Safety

There is no doubt that active games, building snowmen, and making snow angels will help keep your children warm. Teach your kids a few important safety rules and tips to go along with winter play this holiday season.

For example, if your children decide to go sledding or skating on their own for the day, you should make sure that you know about the hill where your kids will play. Is it too steep or covered with many trees? If that is the case, it is not an ideal location for sledding.

Use these tips for safe winter play.

  • Stay away from snowblowers and snowplows
  • Choose play areas that are away from fences, roads, and water
  • Children younger than 16 must not operate snowmobiles
  •  Kids younger than six should not ride on snowmobiles
  • It is best to travel in groups and ensure that someone knows exactly where the snowmobilers are going
  • You should take extra caution whenever crossing roads. This is because it may be harder for drivers to see you playing, especially if they have frosty or snowy windows. Also, note that icy roads can make it more difficult to stop.
  • Never aim snowballs at people or cars. This is because they are particularly dangerous when the snow is icy or hard-packed. Instead, it is better to throw snowballs at safe targets, such as telephone poles or trees. 

Use Helmets to Stay Safe

Did you know that all helmets are not created equal? It is worth noting that snow sports-related head injuries – such as concussions – have become more frequent. This is particularly true in the 7 to 17-year-old range, which makes helmets a must for the holiday season.  

Also, note that the helmet must be approved and also meet all the required safety recommendations for that specific sport. The helmet must also fit comfortably but snug on your head without any forward or backward movement.

House Safety Tips

Keep Storm Drains Clear

Note that when weathermen predict a snowstorm or blizzard, most people often think about stocking their shelves with all the essentials. While this is important, you should think about something else too – the storm drain. This is because the snow will melt and need to go somewhere.

Use Sump Pumps

Note that there will be a lot of standing water around your basement after a snowstorm. In order to help prevent any problems, you should test your sump pump. Diligent homeowners usually test their pumps every few months, but you should definitely test your pump before the season’s first snowstorm.