Get outside and stay healthy with these spring safety tips.

After braving another Michigan winter, everyone is eager to get outside and enjoy the spring weather. Follow these spring safety tips from Covenant Injury Prevention Specialist Laura Walker, to keep the whole family safe while you're enjoying the great outdoors.

Bike Safety

  • Before you or your kids get pedaling, give your bikes a spring checkup: make sure the tires are properly inflated, the brakes are working properly, and the chain is lubricated.
  • Always wear a helmet, and make sure it fits snugly. Helmets should be replaced every 3 to 5 years, or after any major impact. Adults should wear helmets too, not just kids. "Be a good role model," says Ms. Walker. Read more tips on getting a helmet with the right fit.
  • Wear bright and/or reflective clothing and add reflective stickers to bike helmets so drivers can easily see you.
  • Ride on the right side of the street, in the same direction as traffic.

Sports and Exercise Safety

  • If you've been more sedentary during winter weather, don't try to jump back into exercise where you left off in the fall. See a doctor for a physical, and then ease back into your exercise/sports routine.
  • Warm up before exercise with some easy walking or light calisthenics. Then stretch before and after your exercise session to improve flexibility and prevent injury.
  • Make sure you and your kids have the right gear. Wear well-cushioned shoes as well as protective equipment designed for your sport (for example, helmets, pads, gloves, etc.).
  • Stay hydrated, especially as temperatures climb.
  • Listen to your body. "No pain, no gain" is a catchy phrase, but a terrible health tip. While a little soreness is natural when getting back into exercise, real pain is your body warning you that something is wrong.

Safety Tips for Drivers

Naturally, it's important to drive safely year-round. But in the springtime, keep these specific tips in mind:

  • Keep a sharp eye out for bikes, something you may not be used to after a long winter. Give them plenty of room when you pass.
  • Be especially careful when backing out of your driveway, in case small children on bikes or trikes are passing behind you, or your own kids are playing in the driveway. Laura Walker suggests, "Walk around your vehicle, look around it," before backing out.
  • As temperatures rise, remember: never leave children or pets in the car in warm weather. It doesn't have to be in the 90s for the interior of the car to heat up to dangerous levels.

Now that you've got safety in mind, it's time to spring into action! Enjoy a happy, healthy season with your family.

For more spring safety tips, watch WNEM TV's Medical Moments interview.

Posted Date: 3/16/2021

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