Winter is almost upon us in Massachusetts. Colder weather brings additional challenges for staying healthy and safe. Below are tips and suggestion that can help keep yourself and your family healthy and safe this winter.
Winter Health Tips for Mind and Body
You have too much on your to-do list to get sick. Ways that you can stay healthy this winter include:
- Remember to hydrate! It is easy to forget to drink plenty of water during the winter. Hydrating with water can also help winter dry skin and irritation.
- When you go outside, you should wear hats, gloves, and a scarf. Your extremities lose heat very quickly so make sure to protect your toes, fingers, and ears.
- Eat a well-balanced diet including plenty of fruits and vegetables. The holiday season is full of carbohydrate-laden foods and sweets. Make sure you balance that with healthy choices.
- Try to get outdoors when the weather is pleasant. You need sunshine and fresh air even during the winter. Getting outside can also help with the “winter blahs.”
- Exercise regularly during the winter. If you cannot get outside, you may want to consider joining a gym.
- Carry a pen with you whenever you are running errands and at work. Germs can spread by hand-to-hand contact. Use your own pen to sign things like credit card slips instead of the pen offered by the establishment.
- Keep hand sanitizer in your home, vehicle, pocket, and anywhere else you can store a bottle. One way to avoid a “bug” is to use hand sanitizer often during the winter.
- Wash hands with warm water and soap as often as possible too.
- You should know the signs and symptoms of hypothermia and frostbite and how to treat these cold-weather conditions.
Winter Heating Tips
Staying warm during the frosty winter months in Massachusetts is a priority. However, heating your home can be dangerous if you are not careful. Some of the things to remember this winter about heating your home include:
- Never use a gas stove or oven to heat your home.
- Consider installing a carbon monoxide detector to protect your family from these potentially deadly fumes.
- Test your smoke detectors at least once a month and replace the batteries as needed. Also, check your fire extinguishers to ensure they are still within date.
- Turn off all portable heat sources when you leave home or you are going to sleep.
- Be careful when using candles in your home. Keep candles away from anything that can catch fire and extinguish candles before leaving a room.
For more safety tips for heating your home, visit the American Red Cross website.
Winter Weather Driving Tips
Winter weather conditions can make driving treacherous. Remember to slow down and leave extra room between your vehicle and the vehicle in front of you. It takes longer to stop when you are driving on rainy, icy, or snow-covered roads. Leave early to allow yourself more time to arrive at your destination. Remember to clean the snow and ice from your vehicle before leaving your home, including the ice and snow on your side-view mirrors and your headlights. Running your low-beam headlights can help you see and be seen in foggy, rainy, or snowy weather.
In Massachusetts, you often see snow plows on the road. You need to allow at least 200 feet between the plow and your vehicle at all times. Never pass a snow plow on the right side of the road. As always, wear your seatbelt and make sure children are secured in a child safety seat.
For more winter weather driving tips, visit the Massachusetts.gov website.