As the snow starts to fall, make sure you are prepared to stay warm, safe and out of harm's way!

Get a Flu Shot

Flu shots are especially important for children, pregnant women and seniors who are at greater risk for developing complications from the flu virus. Flu shots are safe and recommended for most people. Contact your physician for information about getting the flu shot.

Easy Does It

Shoveling snow can be strenuous, especially for people who already have a history of heart disease. Heed the tips from the Emergency Department Physicians at Swedish:
  • Go slow and don't over extend yourself.
  • Wet snow becomes very heavy. Bend at your knees (not the back) and avoid straining your muscles by reaching too far away from your core or by twisting -- move your whole body so your hips are square with the area where you are shoveling.
  • When working with snowblowers, be sure to turn off and unplug the snowblower before reaching near the blade. Also, never try to unclog a snowblower while it is on! More safety tips for snow blowers.
  • For back pain, rest and ibuprofen will usually ease the pain within a couple of days.
  • However, if you experience numbness or tingling in your legs or arms or have difficultly urinating, see a doctor immediately.

Slippin' & Slidin'

Falls are one of the most common injuries during the winter. Take the time to put on boots/shoes with good treads and traction. Walk slowly and in smaller steps than usual. This will give your body more time to react in case you come across an icy patch.

Use salt or similar products on your walkways to prevent falls.

Drive carefully and with double the distance between you and the car in front of you to allow enough time to stop. Before driving, ALWAYS clear all windows and your head lights and tail lights of snow, so you have a good field of vision and other drivers can see you.

Know the warning signs of a heart attack!

If you feel pain in the chest, arm or neck and suffer sudden shortness of breath, call 9-1-1 and say "Take to me Swedish!"