Our environment can look idyllic in the winter, especially with the snow we had last week! What we forget is that accompanying this beauty is an increase in potential hazards. The ice underfoot can become slippery, the air we breathe is colder, and driving conditions can be poor with shocking visibility. As winter envelops us, we need to have our wits about us a little more when going about our daily lives. Check out these common winter injuries and see how you can avoid them.


It sounds almost comical, but everyone has experienced the numb bum at some point. You’re walking carefully back to your car after a particularly stressful day at work when you reach in your bag for your keys, only to slip on a patch of ice sending you flying onto your coccyx. The pain is sharp and intense, and you can feel bruised for days. The chances are you’ll be one of the luckier ones, but some people land in such an awkward way they seriously injure their spine and require the aid of air medical transport to get them to hospital. Ensure that you aren’t just watching where you’re going, but that you wear grippy shoes or better still apply ice grips to prevent any sliding.


Even the most minor of small slips on an icy surface can cause injury. You can even sprain your ankle in the commotion of trying to stay upright. It’s vital that you use a torch when out and about at night. As the evenings draw in fast and the temperature drops sharply, ice patches form without you even noticing. If you do twist your ankle, get a cold compress on it as soon as possible and elevate your leg to try and reduce any swelling.


Sometimes it’s not possible to stay at home, even when the weather is pretty horrendous outside. If you’re driving, stay safe and be alert at all times. Ensure you pack a shovel, red warning triangle, a blanket and plenty of water and food. This is to make sure that you remain as comfortable as possible should you get stranded or require assistance.

Whiplash from rear-end collisions is common in the winter, and you want to do all you can to avoid it. When driving in snow, stick to the old adage, low revs, high gear. This should maximise your traction and help prevent skidding across snowy surfaces. Always keep your distance and don’t rush. You’re better getting to your destination late but in one piece than not at all.

Winter can be a beautiful time of the year but also a more problematic one. Use your common sense to stay safe and ensure that you’re prepared every time you venture into the winter wonderland around you.


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