Winter Outdoors Safety Tips From State Farm

(BEDFORD) – With colder temperatures and the threat of more snow coming many will be heading outside to enjoy their favorite winter activities.


State Farm® provides the following tips to make sure everyone has a safe and enjoyable winter:
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  • Before bundling up to head outdoors, be sure to check both the temperature and the wind chill. Wind chill indicates how the air feels on your skin. It can vary dramatically from the actual temperature. You will want to take extra safety precautions since low wind chills and cold temperatures can have dangerous effects on your body, such as frostbite and hypothermia.
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  • Frostbite occurs when parts of your body freeze from prolonged exposure to the cold. Warning signs include numbness and skin that’s white or grayish-yellow and unusually firm or waxy. Hypothermia sets in when your body is losing heat faster than it can produce it. There are several stages of hypothermia, but common symptoms include: uncontrollable shivering, memory loss, disorientation, slurred speech and drowsiness.
  • Victims with frostbite or hypothermia should receive immediate medical attention. For more information on how to respond, review these tips from the American Red Cross.
  • If you do venture outside, layer up! Wear wool, silk or polypropylene inner layers and a tightly woven or wind-resistant outer layer. Finish off with the essentials: a hat, water-resistant boots, and gloves or mittens. Remove layers as you warm up – sweat can aid in heat loss.

Keep in mind the following safety tips to enjoy your favorite outdoor winter activities:
Skiing and snowboarding
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  • Take lessons on how to stop, slow down and turn.
  • Never ski or snowboard alone.
  • Always wear a certified helmet with wraparound goggles.
  • Identify the appropriate trails for your skill level.
  • Check your equipment before and after each run and secure loose straps or clothing.
  • Ice skating and hockey
  • Stick to ice at least 6 inches thick and free of debris.
  • Avoid ice that has formed over running water, such as a river.
  • Always wear a helmet: hockey helmets offer the best protection.
  • Wear proper hockey equipment, including pads and gloves.
  • Learn how to properly fall on ice.

Snowmobile cruising
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  • If you are a novice, consider taking a snowmobile or snow machine safety training course before your first outing.
  • Wear a helmet that meets the current Department of Transportation certification standards, and appropriate cold weather gear, such as a snowmobile suit, snow bib, jackets, and gloves to cut the wind, repel water and allow ventilation.
  • Always go snowmobiling in groups and notify someone at home where the group is headed and the expected return time.
  • Always check the weather conditions before departing, and check your machine’s fuel and fluid levels to make sure they are sufficient for the trip. You should also check the machine’s overall condition and operation.
  • Stay on designated trails. Avoid driving on ice, but if it’s the only option, wear a life jacket.
  • Always ride sober, which includes avoiding prescription medications that may affect how you ride.
  • Carry a first-aid kit, water and non-perishable food in case of a mishap on the trail.

Sledding
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  • Choose a safe sled with a steering mechanism and brake.
  • Dress appropriately with multiple layers of wind- and water-resistant clothing. Helmets, which can greatly reduce the chance of head injuries.
  • Find a safe sledding hill away from busy roads and a long, flat area at the bottom for stopping.
  • Maintain adult supervision – according to the American Association of Orthopedic Surgeons, 71% of all sledding injuries occur without adult supervision.
  • Always sled sitting up and facing forward–never headfirst, facing backward or standing.
  • Never ride a sled being pulled by a moving vehicle.

Review these winter cold weather tips from State Farm® to ready your home for winter and prepare your car to drive in the snow.
Have your furnace inspected so it can operate safely and smoothly if a cold front blows through. And don’t forget about the risk of fog when warm daytime air meets cooler nighttime temperatures. Make sure to brush up on tips for driving in foggy weather.

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