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Canadas Most Common Winter Injuries

In today’s blog, the DASH team is looking at 3 common winter injuries and how to avoid ending up in the hospital when you could be enjoying holiday dinner.

Whether we like it or not, snow, cold, and ice comes annually to Edmonton in the winter months, making it incredibly challenging to stay healthy around this time of year. Many emergency departments see a large increase in patients that have found themselves in the hospital from winter-related injuries. Don’t get cold feet from winter fun just yet, many of these injuries that hospitals treat are entirely preventable, especially if you proceed with caution!

1. Those pesky winter slips and falls

Winter in Edmonton means that ice is everywhere. Icy outdoor surfaces like decks, stairs, and sidewalks, make many individuals vulnerable to slips and falls. Some of the go-to common injuries due to winter slips and falls include broken bones, hurt backs or sprained joints. Due to its unpredictable nature, head injuries can also be common throughout the season.

Want to avoid getting an unnecessary injury this winter? Us too! Making sure that you are being mindful of how you walk in the winter can drastically decrease your chances of slipping or falling on icy surfaces. Our rule that we swear by is when walking on an icy surface, try to take short, slow steps with slightly bent knees (almost as if you’re waddling like a penguin) and extend your arms to your sides. Even though we know it is very cold, avoiding leaving your hands in your pockets is the way to go when walking outside! This act will make it easier to keep your balance.

2. Don’t let hypothermia catch you by surprise

Even though your body is an amazing place and does a great job of maintaining a (usually) constant temperature, extended exposure to cold, especially during Alberta winters can overwhelm your body's auto-regulation. Hypothermia typically occurs when your body temperature drops below 95°F. If you must brave outside weather during winter, make sure to dress for the weather and wear plenty of layers. Although typically, elderly individuals and young children are often at more risk, hypothermia can affect anyone no matter their age or health situation. Did you know? Alcohol use can also make you more susceptible to hypothermia, so drink responsibly this holiday season!

3. Frostbite is not the best holiday gift

Although we typically do not have to be reminded of the cold, we can sometimes forget about frostbite, but it can have serious implications for your long-term health. Frostbite can cause permanent damage to the body as skin, nerves and tissue freeze at the site of injury. In the Alberta winter, make sure to cover up as your hands, feet, ears or tip of your nose are the most vulnerable to the cold.

Unexpected injuries can happen, and supplemental insurance covers you for injuries from stitches to concussions, so you are always protected. Contact us today to find a plan for you.

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