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As winter often brings cooler temperatures and shorter days, it also brings several hidden health risks.  We are all aware of everything from slipping on ice, cold and flu infections and frostbite, but there are also many hidden dangers that appear in winter that you may not even realize.  

 

Here are a few winter health risks to avoid this winter season. 

 

  • Holiday decorations 

Holiday decorations are usually a joy to see, hear and sometimes touch, however, hidden health dangers may lie within. A study published in Pediatric Radiology in 2014 found that many foreign bodies are found in the lungs of children during the holiday season, such as glitter, artificial scents, and cinnamon. Steer clear of such decorations to ensure your winter health that may be associated with these common ingredients. 

 

  • Snow shoveling 

Some of us love the first snow and jump at the chance to get outdoors and shovel. According to Harvard Health, snow shoveling kills an average of 100 people each year due to shoveling-induced heart attacks. If you are at higher risk of suffering a heart attack, please ask for assistance. 

 

  • Carbon monoxide poisoning 

Carbon monoxide poisoning kills silently and in a matter of minutes. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that CO poisoning kills an average of 430 people each year. Be sure to install a carbon monoxide sensor in your home to detour this silent killer. 

 

  • Air pollution 

Air pollution comes from inside sources more than we realize. Smoke from candles, burning wood in fireplaces, cooking food, laundry detergent, soap, cleaners, natural gas fumes, and other contaminants build up inside your home when the doors are sealed. By well ventilating your home from these contaminants you can avoid such a risk. 

 

  • Depression 

As winter sets in, often times so do we. The winter blues strike many, but for some, the blues can lead to a full-blown case of depression. Money trouble as the New Year rolls around, lack of sun exposure and the stress of family get-togethers during the holidays can trigger depression for many. Some individuals may be depressed and not even realize it. If you are someone you know is suffering from depression seek medical advice. 

 

  • Overheating 

Winter blankets, fireplace heating, and a constantly-running heater can quickly cause you to get too hot. While you may feel cozy all bundled up inside, be sure to drink plenty of fluids to remain hydrated. 

 

  • Burns 

Winter means more heat sources, which in turn causes an increase in burn risk. Everyday items such as; candles, indoor fires and more time in the kitchen increase your chance of burn. Be sure to use caution and seek medical attention immediately if you fall victim to a severe burn. 

 

 

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