You may have heard the catchphrase at the title of this post from the popular TV show Game of Thrones, or from friends who never stop talking about it, but winter in real-life is very much around the corner.

And just like the heroes of Westeros, winter poses additional health and injury risks as the temperature dramatically lowers. Conversely, the chance of slipping and falling, getting the flu or illness, and experiencing an emergency situation increases.

While a dragon could maybe help with the removal of ice, there are many simple preventive steps you can take to maintain a healthy, injury-free lifestyle during the winter.

Fight the flu and common cold with proven vaccines and health tips

The most effective way to combat influenza and the common cold is to get the flu shot as early as possible.

Flu season usually runs from early/mid-September to sometimes as late as May. Make sure that you and members of your family are getting the vaccination annually since it changes each year.

If you are skeptical of the flu shot, it helps to know that you cannot contact the flu from the vaccination.

Many common myths about cold and flu season have been debunked and suggest that flu shots and cold weather don’t increase flu potency. Instead, the body’s immune system simply weakens in colder weather. This means that your body, and not the weather or a flu vaccine, impacts your chance of catching the flu.

Make sure you schedule your flu shot, wash your hands regularly, and sanitize living/work spaces to reduce your chances of catching the flu!

Mind the snow, ice, or other hazardous conditions as necessary

The chance of injury increases as snow piles up on driveways, highways, and walkways during the peak winter season.

Snow and ice removal with shovels and specialized tools is likely needed if you need to travel safely. However, it is important to understand how to safely manage piles of snow and ice.

The National Safety Council suggests to prepare your vehicle for travel with emergency supplies, limit strain when shoveling to prevent pain and injuries, and treat frostbite ASAP.

If you experience an injury while shoveling or traveling during the winter make sure you seek treatment immediately. For injury care, without a long wait, you can always walk into our Hillsdale urgent care center here.

Winter can be a dangerous time of year unless you effectively prepare for unwanted illnesses and injuries!