The holiday season is in full swing, and snow and ice will soon blanket Minnesota. The winter season brings with it many fun activities in Minnesota, but it also present some unique dangers. One such danger is the increased risk of traumatic brain injuries from certain activities. Today, we take a closer look at some ways to prevent head injuries and traumatic brain injuries this winter.
Preventing Head Injuries In The Winter
Here are some tips to help keep you safe from head injuries this winter.
1. Slip-Resistant Footwear – Head injuries and TBIs can happen in a moment’s notice, even when you’re not driving or skiing. A task as simple as walking to your car can end in a head injury if you slip on a patch of ice. You can’t clear all the ice and snow from the ground, but you can invest in slip-resistant boots and footwear that will help keep you upright. Also, when walking on slippery spots, be sure your attention is focused on your movement and not something else, like your cell phone.
2. Be Visible – Wintertime in Minnesota means the sun is setting earlier and there’s more darkness, which can make it harder for drivers to see cyclists and pedestrians. Ride with caution, and also try to make yourself as visible as possible. Wear bright, reflective colors, and enter intersections cautiously. Just because you have the right of way doesn’t mean you’re going to win a battle against a vehicle.
3. Buckle Up – Road conditions also tend to worsen this time of year, and a patch of black ice can send you careening off into the ditch. You should buckle up anytime you’re in the car, especially when road conditions aren’t perfect. Combined with the fact that deer are still a major hazard this time of year, you’ll want to protect your head and neck every time you’re in a vehicle by wearing your seat belt.
4. Wear a Helmet – The winter months bring with them the opportunity to sled, ski and snowmobile, but if you lose your balance you could end up tumbling towards the rock hard ground. If you’re not wearing a helmet, you could suffer a severe head injury. Even if you think you are in control of your body, wear a helmet, because all it takes is one other person to cause an accident. Wear a helmet any time you’re going down a hill, hitting the trails or lacing up your ice skates.
5. Height Safety – If you have to go up on the roof or a ladder to hang holiday decorations or remove icicles, make sure you have someone below who can brace the ladder and keep it from moving. You should also consider wearing a harness if you’re going up more than one story, because a fall from these heights can be deadly. Even if you’re just using a step ladder to put the angel on top of the Christmas tree, have someone help keep the step ladder from shifting.
If you keep these tips in mind, we’re sure that you’ll have a safe holiday season. And if something does happen and you injure your spine or head, please reach out to Dr. Chang’s office right away.