Snow, rain, or hail – the season of dangers has begun for both pedestrians and drivers! With its particular weather conditions, winter is undoubtedly Quebec’s riskiest season. As of November, it slowly creeps in in the form of scattered snow banks and haunts us with its slush all through the end of April.

Whether you’re sledding down a mountain or gliding down an icy staircase, snow is often synonymous with a myriad of potentially dangerous injuries. It’s important for everyone to know the risks at hand and how to avoid them!

Figure Skating Is Not for Everyone

The stats are clear: there are 30% more car accidents in the winter than any other season in Quebec1. One of the main explanations to this dreadful statistic is that roads become true skating rinks for pedestrians and drivers. According to the Canadian Institute for Health Information (CIHI)2, every year 8,800 injuries are caused by people falling on snow or black ice.

Now, we’re not telling you to wear skates to glide along icy roads, but wearing cleated shoes is highly recommended to avoid falls. Stay attentive: watch where you step rather than the falling snowflakes or your crush’s Instagram feed. Finally, it’s important to be aware of your surroundings. You’re not always the one to blame, incidents can also be caused by other passersby!

Winter Sports: The Other Side of the Coin

There’s no better way to enjoy the Quebec snow than through its popular winter sports, whether it’s skiing or snowboarding. That being said, if you’re one of those risk takers who cannot wait to propel themselves down the slopes, be aware that such sports account for 18% of injuries related to winter sports and safety3. High speed, fixed and mobile obstacles, still legs and changing weather conditions… all of these factors account for their reputation as high-risk sports. In order to limit injuries, it’s highly recommended that you wear a helmet at all times, that you know your aptitudes and that you don’t try to push the boundaries too abruptly.

It’s also worth noting that skiing is not the only risky winter sport and that they all come with their lot of dangers and injuries – you’re the only one who can limit these! Even curling players are not safe from serious injuries. According to a study by the Public Health Agency of Canada, over 17% of curling-center players injure themselves every year, and 17.8% of these suffer head injuries4. Although it’s never been seen, maybe even curlers should consider wearing helmets.

Avoid Spending the Holidays in the Hospital

Christmas is the merriest time of the winter season for many (and often their ray of sunshine until spring), which is completely understandable with the food, the people we love, and the gifting! There are so many reasons for not wanting to spoil the event with an unexpected injury, but believe us there are many unusual ways to get hurt while preparing for the Holidays.

According to a (quite original) American study conducted over 10 years, over 170,000 people have ended up at the ER because of Christmas-related injuries5. Dangers are present, whether it’s getting burned while taking the turkey out of the oven, getting a cut from broken Christmas ornaments or even breaking a bone while falling off the ladder while putting the star on the tree. Even Santa can be a threat during traditional mall photo ops. The American study reveals that 277 people were hurt after meeting the Christmas celebrity, with most victims being scared kids who run or stumble. Unbelievable, but true!

Now that you’re aware that you can get hurt while walking on a slippery street or while curling, please be careful this winter and take the necessary precautions to safely enjoy the season’s joyful moments. You definitely don’t want to spend your summer in cast!
One last tip: don’t stick your tongue to metal poles while it’s cold outside! If it’s too late, the trick is not too quickly pull your tongue, but rather to warm the surface with warm air ?


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