According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, the winter of 2016 is expected to be as cold and icy as its predecessor . While that means more snow to play in and frolic through, all that powder carries certain safety concern. Whether you’re a young student walking to school or a parent driving off to work, it’s important you know how to move about safely during these remaining winter months. Here are a few tips to make your experience this winter more a gentle breeze and less of a full-blown gale:

“Winter 2016 is set to be as cold and icy as its predecessor.”

1. Dismiss the common winter myths
When it comes to winter, people rely on a few tactics to overcome the cold. However, as the University of Rochester Medical Center pointed out, some of these long-held beliefs are little more than myths. For instance, you don’t lose the majority of heat through your head. While you should wear the proper headgear, it’s still important to protect your entire body. Speaking of which, you don’t have to dress in layers to stay warm. Instead, just one good piece of clothing – like a jacket or coat – can often be enough insulation.

2. Always wear your sunglasses
Many people equate sunglasses with relaxing on some warm beach in the middle of July. However, as Safety Glasses USA explained, it’s just as important to wear eye protection in winter months. For one, sunglasses can protect you from the extra glare generated by snow, ice and water puddles common during winter. Additionally, sunglasses are are a great way to protect your eyes from frequent bursts of wind, which can dry out the eyes, and any equally harmful debris.

3. Travel with purpose
Many people focus on preparing themselves and their families during the winter. However, as the National Safety Council noted, you also need to take proper care of your vehicle before and after any sort of snowy journey. During the winter, it’s a good idea to get your car routinely checked by a trained mechanic, as ice and cold can affect your ignition, brakes, battery and other vital systems. In case of any vehicular incidents, keep a few supplies in your trunk. The most important to include are jumper cables, tow and tire chains, ice scraper, a handheld shovel and a bag of salt.

4. Create a go-to kit
It’s also a good idea to have a personal go-to kit set aside in your home and in your vehicle. These kits may vary depending upon how much snow or ice you’re contending with, but most include the following items:

  • Flashlight.
  • Extra batteries.
  • Three-day supply of water.
  • Five-day supply of nonperishable canned food.
  • Toolkit with pliers and wrench.
  • Copies of car and house keys.
  • Rain gear.
  • Sturdy shoes.
  • Personal hygiene items.
  • Extra cash.
  • Emergency contact information.

No matter the items, be sure everyone in your family knows where the kit is located.

For this winter and beyond, you’ll want to rely on the services provided at your local CareWell Urgent Care Center. With facilities across the East Coast, CareWell‘s team of physicians can address any winter-related injuries from twisted ankles to strained muscles. Plus, CareWell is your destination for annual vaccinations for both children and adults.