Winter survival 101

The wind is getting icy, the chance of snow is becoming more frequent and it’s the perfect time for gloves and scarves. It is important to keep yourself safe from the cold, so here are four things to keep in mind during the winter months:

The flu

The winter season also happens to be flu season. If you fall victim to catching a cold, know how to survive it:

  1. Rest. Your body needs time to heal itself. Don’t overwork your body.
  2. Stay hydrated. Water, juice, broth or lemon water with honey all help loosen congestion and prevent dehydration. Try to avoid alcohol, coffee and soft drinks.
  3. Sore throats. A saltwater gargle will get you through the worst part of the flu. Warm some water, dissolve salt and gargle to soothe and kill bacteria.
  4. Keep eating. With sore throats, eating may be something you don’t want to do but getting food into you is beneficial for your recovery. You can’t go wrong with homemade chicken soup!

If your symptoms worsen, remember to visit your doctor.

Water safety

The winter moths also coincide with the semester break for us, so if you’re going on holidays to a warmer place and hit the water at a beach, lake or pool, remember to:

  1. Check for rips. Look at the body of water for any rips, currents or other potential hazards before jumping in.
  2. Know your surroundings. Even if it looks safe enough, remember that crumbling or slippery banks, shifting floors, submerged objects, watercraft and cold water all present possible dangers.
  3. You know the drill. When at the beach, always look for the flags and obey instructions from lifeguards.

Water while travelling is also important. When driving in icy conditions, your windscreen may fog or even ice up but don’t pour warm or hot water onto a cold windscreen because it will crack and shatter.

Whether you are in water or using water on holiday, remember to be safe!

Going to the snow

One of the best things about winter is the snow. Going to the snow can be really fun but also dangerous, so practice this while you’re on the snowfields:

  1. Plan. Do the leg work for your trip carefully and tell people that you are going, plus take your mobile phone with emergency contacts.
  2. Dress smart. Pack appropriate wind and waterproof clothing including a hat, gloves, skin and eye protection. Jeans won’t suffice!
  3. Check. Make sure you check the weather regularly to know what to expect, especially snow and skiing conditions.

If something does go wrong, such as getting lost – stop, seek shelter and wait for help. Always ski or ride within your capabilities and have back up if you want to try something outside your skill level.

Finally, being in a group is safest and it’s always more fun together!