Three ways to keep safe this winter
A classic cold, wintry day may tempt most people to cuddle up on the couch with a blanket, put the heater on and weather the storm indoors.
However, winter isn’t just about putting the electric blanket on the bed. Rainy days also increase the likelihood of accidents when driving, make it more likely for you to slip and fall on the sports field, and can affect your mental health.
Help keep yourself and your loved ones safe this winter by taking extra care on the road and on the field, as well as ensuring you have the right tools nearby just in case there’s an incident.
Having a basic first aid kit close by can help you be prepared in case of an emergency, a sporting injury or any minor scrapes from a fall on a slippery surface.
Safety tips for driving in wet weather
If it’s raining when you’re out on the road, you need to take additional precautions. Heavy rain or fog can lead to flooding, reduced visibility, and slippery road surfaces.
Understanding how to keep yourself and others safe while driving in wet and stormy conditions is essential to preventing an accident. You can do this by:
- Always driving with your lights on while it’s raining
- Leaving additional space between your car and the one in front of you to give yourself enough time to brake
- Being cautious of puddles, as you don’t know how deep they could be and high water levels can cause engine damage.
- Making sure your window wipers are working properly
- Checking your tyre tread hasn’t worn down; if it is lower than 3mm you should look at replacing them as the minimum legal limit of 1.5mm (the width of a matchstick head).
St John’s Personal Motoring Kit is designed for the car and contains essential first aid items to ensure you’re prepared for any roadside emergency or accident.
Common winter health hazards at home
Keeping warm during a cold winter’s night comes with some unexpected health hazards. Winter warmer essentials such as hot water bottles, electric blankets and heaters will keep you cosy, but can cause injuries such as burns and increase the risk of household fires.
When was the last time you checked your smoke alarms were working or changed the batteries? These should be tested every month and the batteries should be checked each year.
Fireplaces and gas or electric heaters are great for warming up a room, however they come with a few risks. Here are a few checks for your heater of choice:
- Fireplaces: make sure the chimney is clean of soot and free of obstructions. Always place a screen in front of a fireplace to ensure everyone remains at a safe distance when it’s being used. Never burn plastic, foam or painted/treated wood.
- Electric Heaters: check these every year to ensure they’re still working properly as well as looking for signs of rust or power cord damage.
- Gas Heaters: these should be serviced every two years as they can release toxic fumes into the room. These should never be used in a bedroom or small, unventilated room. Signs of an issue include difficulty lighting, yellow flames, unusual smells or noisy/inoperable fans.
When you’re not at home, running around outside playing or competing in sports on wet surfaces with reduced grip can increase your likelihood of an injury. Falling over on these surfaces can lead to mild cuts or sprains, and in more serious cases, concussions or broken bones.
The St John Medium Leasure Kit will make sure you’re prepared in the event of an emergency. It’s perfect for both families or personal use, with first aid essentials for a BBQ at home, camping, playground scrapes or slips out on the sporting field.
Seasonal mental health check
Do you feel a little down when the weather gets colder? You’re not alone, as there are known links between seasonal changes having negative side effects on our mental wellbeing.
Seasonal depression or seasonal affective disorder (SAD) is a mood disorder characterised by depression that occurs at the same time every year, particularly during times when there’s less sunlight at certain times of the year. Signs of SAD include:
- Social withdrawal.
If you want to understand the early warning signs of mental health issues and how to support someone who might be struggling, St John WA provides a comprehensive Mental Health First Aid Course that can help you understand the crucial first steps in helping someone seek professional ongoing care.
To help you look after yourself and your loved ones this winter, St John WA has a range of products and training courses on sale this winter. Take advantage of them until the 15th of August 2022.