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Winter Storm Safety Tips from Patient First

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE – 

WINTER STORM SAFETY

Keep Your Family Safe in the Storm

March, 2017 – The Mid-Atlantic is bracing for a major winter storm that could drop more than a foot of snow across the region.  This storm could create potentially dangerous conditions. It is important to keep some basic winter safety tips in mind during and after the storm:

Shoveling Snow

A necessary evil after a snow storm, shoveling snow can pose a health risk for many people. Snow shoveling is a strenuous activity. It can increase blood pressure and heart rate. Individuals with a history of heart disease, high blood pressure or strokes should not shovel snow. 

If you must shovel snow, shovel as early as possible. Snow is heavier after it has been on the ground for a few days – often melting and re-freezing, creating a solid chunk of snow rather than powdery, just-fallen snow. Also, make sure that you are properly hydrated and prepare your body for shoveling by warming up. Jog in place or do ten jumping jacks before you begin to shovel, as this will get your blood flowing before you begin. Also, be sure to take your time and move slowly when shoveling snow.  Shoveling too fast can increase your blood pressure and put you at greater risk for spraining or pulling a muscle.

Walking on Ice

Icy patches can be difficult to see. The slips and falls caused by ice can be serious. If you come across an area that you believe may be icy, tap the edge of the area with your foot to be sure. Wear shoes with gripping soles to provide traction. Also, keep your hands out of your pockets when walking in order to keep your balance on a slippery surface. Don’t carry heavy items like shopping bags with you when walking on slippery surfaces. This can change your center of balance, making you more likely to slip and fall.

When getting out of your vehicle, check to make sure there are no icy spots near your vehicle. If you are parked on a slick spot, move the vehicle to a different area if you can. Also, when entering and exiting your car while on ice, use the vehicle for balance and support.

(Note: Editors and reporters are permitted to use the attached graphic.)

Stay hydrated

Dehydration is common during the winter months. Winter activities are just as strenuous as summer activities. We also tend to wear layers of warm clothing during the winter. That means our bodies work harder (by sweating) to cool us down. 

If you don’t stay hydrated you can suffer exhaustion, muscle fatigue, cramps, loss of coordination or even stroke. Dehydration also makes you an easy target for colds and flu.

Here are some tips to keep you hydrated this winter:

  • Drink before, during and after exercise or outdoor activities.
  • Water-based foods like soup, fruits and vegetables are a great source of hydration and nutrients.
  • Reduce the amount of sodium in your diet.

Patient First physicians are available to talk about winter storm safety and other ways to protect yourself in the cold. Please contact George Yanoshik at 484-322-6809 or email george.yanoshik@patientfirst.com for interviews.

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About Patient First

All Patient First Medical Centers are open 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. every day of the year, including holidays. Patient First provides non-appointment urgent care for routine injuries and illnesses, as well as primary care for patients who do not have a regular physician. Each Patient First center has on-site digital x-ray, on-site laboratory, and on-site prescription drugs. Patient First currently operates medical centers in Virginia, Maryland, Pennsylvania, and New Jersey. 

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