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Five ways to keep your family safe this winter

Winter can be fun for the whole family, but with it comes an increased risk of accidents and injuries. With colder temperatures, poor weather conditions and the flu season in full swing. It’s important to take a few steps to make sure that no one in the family gets hurt or sick.

Below, you’ll find a few useful things you can do to help keep the whole family safe this winter. Read on for some tips and advice.

Dress appropriately

dressed for winter

Photo by Alvin Mahmudov on Unsplash

Slips, trips and falls are common in the winter for people of all ages. If you’re venturing outside in icy conditions, make sure the whole family is wrapped up in warm layers, hats and gloves, and are wearing sturdy footwear with a good grip to avoid skidding and falling over. You should also wear a hi-vis jacket, or bright coloured clothes, to ensure you’re seen if you’re walking or cycling in the evenings or early mornings.

Cold weather can also increase the elderly’s risk of hypothermia because their bodies find it hard to cope with the cold, especially if they are less mobile. Make sure older members of the family, like grandparents, are wearing warm clothes when they go outside, that their homes are heated properly and that they have enough food and the right medication to protect them through the cold season.

Prepare your car

Driving in the winter is different from any other season. Darkness, snow, rain and icy conditions can make driving more dangerous, which is why it’s important to make sure our cars are prepared before setting off on a long journey. Ensure heaters, defrosters and windscreen wipers all work properly; check tyre tread depth and make sure the car’s lights work properly. You should also keep an emergency kit in the car in case the car breaks down in the cold weather.

Check your boiler and electrical appliances

Maintaining your boiler and electrical appliances can help prevent your family from injuries in the home. You’ll likely have your gas boilers, fires, wood burners and other types of fuel-burning appliances on this winter, so you must check your smoke and carbon monoxide detectors to prevent carbon monoxide poisoning. Check to see when these were last serviced by a qualified electrician or plumber, and arrange regular gas safety checks to help you stay safe at home.

Fight germs

Winter is a prime time for colds and flu. Stop germs from spreading by making sure everyone in the family washes their hands properly and frequently. You can also arrange to get a flu vaccine. Anyone over six months old can get one, but it’s particularly important for children, pregnant women, those who have certain medical conditions and adults who are 65 years old or over as they’re at a higher risk of getting sick.

Prepare for Christmas

Winter marks the start of the festive season. When giving children toys and gifts, make sure they comply with safety standards and are suitable for the correct age group. If you have Christmas lights

and decorations, make sure they meet safety standards and remember to turn them off when you’re not in the room to prevent a fire from starting. Keep cables and wires away from any walking areas to prevent anyone from tripping over them. If you have small novelty items on display, make sure they are kept out of reach of small children and pets who could end up with these in their mouths causing them to choke.

By making sure you have warm layers and sturdy footwear when you’re out walking; your car is prepared for poor weather conditions; your home appliances have been serviced and that your home is safe for Christmas, hopefully, the family will stay injury-free this winter.

Author bio: Thompsons Solicitors is one of the UK’s leading personal injury law firms. As claimant-only lawyers, we only ever represent injured people, never the employer or insurance company.

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