Staying Safe in Winter Weather Months

Staying Safe in Winter Weather Months

With the dark nights beginning to close in as we approach Christmas, the winter months beyond can prove dangerous. Here’s our advice on staying safe in winter weather months.

The winter season can be full of wonder, but at the same time, it’s one of the most important times of the year to take some extra care and precautions.

Whilst this year, the public are being encouraged to limit the distance they travel over the Christmas period due to the COVID-19 pandemic, it’s still vital to ensure you are going to stay safe on the roads should travel be required.

Here is our advice on staying safe in winter weather months.

Tips on Staying Safe in Winter Weather Months

Plan Any Journeys in Advance

Whether you are planning to use public transport, take a car journey or walk by foot in the next few months to come, our first tip is to always plan your journey in advance.

Before you step foot outside, consider the following points:

• How long is it going to take you to reach your destination?
• Are there any current delays/accidents you’ll need to avoid?
• What leaflets or online information are available to me containing public transport timetables?
• Can you take any alternative routes to avoid large queues of traffic?

To gain a general overview of current traffic conditions and route diversions, you can view the AA website here.

If you are going to be using public transport to travel, it’s advisable to check with train network providers or your local bus/coach networks for updates on delays, cancellations and alterations that could be affecting any services.

Should you be travelling by train or by bus, it’s advisable to visit the National Rail website.

The National Rail website contains a full list of each of the train operating companies within the UK, along with their associated websites, contact information, ticketing and fare options, assistance with travel facilities and links to their social media accounts.

Lastly, when making bus and coach journeys, you should attempt to consult the bus/coach company that operates the services within your local region.

The five main Bus and Coach services within the UK are:

Arriva
First
Go-Ahead
National Express
Stagecoach

Run Through Some Basic Safety Checks

Once you’ve done some initial route planning, the next tip we suggest is to run through some basic safety checks.

These should be checks that you can carry out on your vehicle (if using a car) and ensuring you have everything you need on your person in case of an emergency.

Before you leave the house or premises you are travelling from, the OnHealth website suggests that you put together a basic emergency preparedness kit to keep in your vehicle which contains:

• A windshield scraper
• Extra batteries
• Some water
• Snack food(s)
• Matches
• Extra warm clothing (hats, socks, gloves)
• A tow chain or rope
• Some road salt/sand
• An emergency flare/distress signal

In addition, having extra items like a torch, a snow shovel, and pieces of high visibility clothing for journeys during night-time hours is equally as important.

The OPInfo website contains a wide range of torches here.

For high quality snow shovels click here.

And view our high visibility clothing here.

Potential accidents and emergencies whilst travelling in wintery conditions means that should always be prepared for worst case scenarios while on the road or even when on foot.

With this, it’s highly advised to make sure you have adequate First Aid supplies containing medical items such as plasters, safety pins, bandages, dressings and wipes, which are extremely useful to have on hand with you or kept in an accessible area in your car.

View our essential First Aid kits here.

Wrap Up Warm

Once the journey has been planned and basic checks have been covered, the last important tip we can provide for staying safe in winter weather months is to wear an adequate amount of clothing to stay warm.

Not maintaining a warm body temperature can take a toll on your health, so it’s important to dress suitably for the winter weather to avoid conditions like:

Frostbite – Visible damage to parts of your body such as your ears, nose, chin, cheeks, fingers, and toes, sometimes resulting in blisters. Your skin can also appear colour drained and can feel tough or waxy which makes it difficult to move any affected areas.

Heart problems – Due to your heart having to work harder to keep you warm, cold weather can cause heart issues, especially for those who have pre-existing heart related concerns.

Hypothermia – Symptoms of this can include confusion, shivering, tiredness and weakened bladder. It’s very important to treat Hypothermia quickly as if escalated, it can cause severe health issues and a possibility of death in the very worst cases.

As the Public Health Matters blog explains:

“When we start to get cold, our blood becomes thicker, which can cause clotting.

Clotting can cause problems and is one of the reasons we see more heart attacks and strokes in the days following colder weather.

Being cold also affects our body’s ability to fight off infection.

This is why in the weeks after the cold weather we see more death from infections like pneumonia, as lung conditions and coughs can develop into a more series problem.”

How Can I Best Stay Warm During Winter Weather Months?

Whilst this provides a bleak insight into the dangers of winter weather, they do also provide some advice on how to keep warm and stay safe in winter weather temperatures.

“Our top tip is to heat the home, or the parts of it you’re using, to at least 18°C.

This is the temperature at which we start to see changes in the body when the blood starts to thicken.

So, temperatures above this are best to protect your health.”

They add:

“Moving around can also help as this keeps the blood flowing around the body which can prevent clotting.

If you can’t move around, wiggle your toes and fingers.

It may not sound like much but even small measures like this can help keep you warm and well.”

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Sam Rose

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