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Snow, ice and the arctic air of winter are more than inconveniences — there are major health concerns to be aware of, some which can be prevented.
Lori Schumacher, emergency medicine physician assistant at Mayo Clinic Health System, discusses a few common potential health issues to watch out for throughout the rest of winter.
Slips and falls
Slips and falls account for nearly 9 million injuries in the United States each year, per the National Safety Council. Most slips and falls occur at building entrances, on lawns, in parking lots and garages, and inside of walkways.
Watch out for uneven ground, protruding structures, holes, and debris that can cause slips, trips and falls. Also, be aware of ice- and snow-packed surfaces — they increase the risk of falling.
Some tips for preventing slips and falls:
Having cold extremities is one thing, but frostbite is a whole different condition. And it’s a very serious one. The first step to preventing frostbite is to know when you’re most at risk. Your risk is elevated if you smoke, have a blood vessel disease like diabetes, aren’t wearing proper clothing, are dehydrated or fatigued, and if you’re at a higher altitude.
Once aware of your level of risk, take these measures to prevent frostbite:
Winter is a season where colds and influenza are more prevalent than any other time of the year. There are some things you can do today to help prevent winter illness:
Schumacher says, “From slips to frostbite to winter-related illness, cold weather poses many challenges for people of all ages. Using these tips will aid you in your attempt to combat winter health mishaps and maintain good health.”
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