Each year families have to make decisions about Halloween activities for kids and often their minds go to safety.  This is a good thing.  More families are being proactive about being safe.  However, this is also a good reminder that winter is coming and this changes the game a bit when it comes to being safe.  With the later part of the year coming the daylight hours will be getting shorter, the temperatures colder, and the roads more dangerous.  So what can we do to prepare and to keep an eye out for ourselves and our family’s safety and health?

Below is a checklist of items and ideas that would be a great start this winter season.

1. Get your car checked.  Some people wait until there is a major problem with their car before they do anything.  Be proactive and get your car checked out before the roads start getting icy and the temperatures drop.  Getting stranded somewhere in winter can be life threatening.  Be sure to check your tires and your spare also.  If you don’t have a AAA membership—consider it—because you will be very happy when you need a tow or a tire change and it’s negative 30 out.

2. Be sure you have a few extras in your car.  A great start would be adding in a pair of boots, gloves, a warm jacket, hat, and if you don’t already have them—a first aid kit and a flashlight.

3. Slow down in winter—not just driving speeds, but everything.  There are fewer hours of daylight and when it is daylight, the likelihood of additional glare from snow or ice means that our vision and perception are degraded.  We don’t want to be the person who accidentally steps out to cross the road and gets hit by a car we didn’t see—and you would not believe how often things like this happen in winter.

4. Remind kids to avoid snow drifts and piles near roads.  Kids always want to play on mounds of snow.  The danger comes from falling or ending up in a roadway.  Plow drifts also present a danger because it makes it hard for drivers to see the kids trying to cross the street…..so remind the kids that if they can’t see the drivers then the driver can’t see them either and it’s not safe to just step out from the snow bank.

5. Wear sensible shoes—-seriously—guys take notes from the women because they are smarter than us usually when it comes to this.  Some women wear one pair of shoes (athletic) to walk in and when they get to work or wherever they are going, they pull out a nicer pair of shoes and they are ready.  In the winter this is even more important.  The traction on dress shoes is generally horrible. So put on a pair of boots or something with traction when you need it and don’t be afraid to carry another pair of shoes with you to wherever you are going.
6. Lip Balm—it’s not just for kids—we often remember to get some lip balm on the kids so they don’t’ come back in from playing with bleeding lips and red skin, but we often forget to take care of ourselves.  Buy about half a dozen of your favorite and put it everywhere (desk, car, purse, jacket pocket, etc).  This way it will remind you.

7. Drink more water!  In winter we aren’t usually as hot so we drink less water.   We also usually drink more coffee…..and this all leads to more dehydration.  Dehydration leads to less energy, slower metabolism, weaker immune system and all kinds of bad stuff……so protect yourself from these things too and be sure to drink more water!

For additional information on Health, Safety and Wellness contact Jeff Dousharm at Jeff@ParadigmImpactGroup.com