6 tips to prevent winter injuries

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(BPT) - The hustle and bustle of the holiday season can get the best of even the most organized of people, leaving you frazzled and distracted. During the rush of the holiday season, another thing that can be neglected or overlooked is the risk for injuries.

Accidents can happen throughout the season, because of everything from the bad weather to a cooking faux pas to holiday crowds. This season, the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons offers tips to avoid bone and joint injuries:

Deck the halls

Lifting injuries can happen quickly and painfully to anyone, at any age. Lifting properly can save you a world of hurt. Bend at the knees to use the large leg and glute muscles instead of your back to pick up heavy items. Don’t twist or rotate while lifting, especially when shoveling snow. Bend your knees and pivot your whole body, not just the torso. Shoveling is a good activity for kids and teens, but teach them correct shoveling techniques. Remind them, too, that shovels are tools, not toys. Many head injuries to kids are caused by inappropriate shovel use.

Rockin’ around the clock

Holiday decorations appeal to people of all ages but also pose the risk for injury if you aren’t careful. Climbing a ladder indoors or outdoors to decorate when no one else is around is a major risk for injury from falls. Always work with a partner, and remember to use ladders on firm, level surfaces. You can let children help decorate, under supervision, giving them age-appropriate tasks.

Babes in toy land

Children love toys they can ride. Did you know, however, that nonmotorized scooters account for 21% of all toy-related emergency department visits? In 2021, 41,700 injuries were reported by emergency room departments. The key to preventing injuries? Give age-appropriate toys and teach children important safety tips when trying new toys, such as scooters.

A winter wonderland

Not everyone has to be concerned about walking on ice, but if you live in a wintry climate, icy surfaces can lurk anywhere. In fact, approximately 1 million Americans are injured annually because of falling on ice and snow. Make sure you and your children wear shoes that have good traction to prevent slipping and falling. You can even purchase slip-on shoe gear that adds traction when walking on ice. And remember, if you hop on the party train, imbibe responsibly so you’re always surefooted, regardless of surface conditions.

Let it snow

Ski and snowboarding season is approaching, and anterior cruciate ligament tears in the knee joint are common. Research has shown that keeping your arms forward and hips over the knees can reduce the risk of injury. Many injuries occur from falling backward, twisting the knee. Adjust your bindings to meet your ability. When you’re careful, outdoor winter sports can be one of the safest and most enjoyable ways to socially distance and work out at the same time.

The fire is so delightful

Prevent burns by knowing the risks. Lighted candles and fireplaces are obvious sources of burn potential, but the kitchen is another hot spot when it comes to burns. Practice good safety habits and keep children away from open fires, candles, appliances and cooking utensils that are hot. Know what to do in case of a burn. Treat minor burns with cool running water, a sterile bandage and over-the-counter pain reliever. More serious burns require immediate medical attention.

To help you and your family enjoy this festive season worry-free, visit OrthoInfo.org for in-depth holiday safety measures.