Wellness Wednesday: avoiding common winter injuries

Posted at 7:51 AM, Dec 04, 2019
and last updated 2019-12-04 09:51:03-05

BOISE, Idaho — Winter is just around the corner, bringing plenty of holiday cheer--and a higher risk of injuries--with it.

Some of the most common winter injuries include slipping on ice. Up to 40,000 cases of people injured from slipping on ice are reported each year. Another common injury comes from shoveling snow with up to 11,000 cases per year. Skiing, snowboarding and other winter sports activities also lead to 50,000 to 80,000 injury cases each year. Children and seniors are most likely to be injured during the season, but people of all ages can be hurt in winter, especially athletes.

Injuries that lead to a deformity in an extremity or severe pain, numbness or tingling down your back and legs are all signs you need to get to an emergency room. Other common things that send you to the ER: symptoms of frostbite like tingling or numbness or waxy or grayish-yellow colored skin. A person who has frostbite may not know it until someone else points it out because the frozen parts of their body are numb.

Frostbite can be difficult to diagnose as it begins. It normally affects hands, faces, noses, and your ears first so one of the best ways to avoid it is by wearing the proper gear and staying covered. Frostbite has a greater chance of developing in those with poor blood circulation or people not properly dressed for extreme cold. If someone shows signs of frostbite but not signs of hypothermia, there are ways to treat it without immediate medical care.

For more safety tips this winter, click here or here. Blue Cross of Idaho customers can also find more information about where to see a doctor here.