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Category Archives: Winter Safety

Happy Outdoor Pets in Winter

Keeping pets safe and happy in winter requires more effort than at other times of the year. That’s primarily because this season is fraught with a variety of hazards that can cause serious illness or injury for your furry companions, up to and including death. To help ensure your pets get through the winter in perfect health, try these useful tips:

For outdoor pets

  • happy outdoor dogs heated pet bedProvide easy access to some kind of enclosed shelter – such as a barn, garage, or doghouse – that can offer protection from wind, snow, and freezing rain.
  • Place a pet bed or plenty of clean, dry straw in the shelter to give your animal a comfortable means of warming itself. Consider using a heated dog bed or a hot water bottle for instant warmth on the coldest nights.
  • Prevent drinking water from freezing in subzero temps by using a heated pet bowl or providing running water.
  • Increase your pet’s daily food rations to compensate for the extra energy required to stay warm in winter. The actual amount needed depends on a variety of factors, including activity level, breed, and shelter conditions, so consult a vet for best results.
  • Refrain from clipping, trimming, or shaving your pet’s coat until the weather warms up again. This will provide the animal with a natural layer of protection against the elements.
  • Bring your pet into your house when dangerous storms or unusually heavy snowfall are predicted.


For indoor pets going outdoors

  • Dress smaller, more delicate dogs in a sweater or jacket before going out for a walk. If there is snow and/or salt on the ground, use pet booties to protect the animal’s tender paws.
  • Keep walks and outings shorter than usual to help limit exposure to the elements.
  • Do not leave pets in an unattended car for extended periods. Just as in summer, the effects of extreme temperatures are exacerbated within the confines of a closed vehicle.
  • Keep animals away from antifreeze that has leaked and accumulated in garages or driveways. Antifreeze is tempting to dogs in particular because of its sweet taste, but is incredibly toxic to them.


Surviving the various dangers posed by winter weather can be challenging for even the toughest outdoor pets. Make things easier on them by providing adequate food, water, shelter, warming products, and care throughout the season.

Reasons You Haven’t Bought Ice Cleats

yaktrax_walkerOutdoor work safety is a critical issue year round, but is especially important in the winter when snow and ice combine to make conditions even more hazardous than usual. Slip and fall accidents are one of the largest causes of workplace injuries, and can have devastating effects on health, morale, and productivity.

The best way to prevent slip and fall accidents on outdoor surfaces is to increase traction on employees’ footwear with the help of removable ice cleats from manufacturers such as Yaktrax, WinterSmart, Get-A-Grip, and STABILicers.

Yet as easy as it is to add ice cleats to work shoes and boots, many employers still haven’t adopted this preventive safety measure. Some of the top reasons they give for holding out include the following:

Buying ice cleats for every worker is too expensive.

We understand that many businesses have budget concerns, but it just doesn’t make sense to cut corners where safety is involved. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, a single slip and fall incident in the workplace costs employers an average of $28,000 — which makes the volume discount price on ice cleats at CozyWinters look like an even bigger bargain!

Employees won’t want to bother putting them on and taking them off.

This concern, which is occasionally voiced by folks that need heavy-duty spiked ice cleats, is simply outdated. Many modern ice cleat models come with Velcro straps or easy-to-grip support rings and holes that make quick work of getting the cleats on and off. When safety is that simple, everyone benefits!

Employees can just walk carefully.

Many people think that they do not need safety equipment because they feel they can take care to avoid accidents on their own. However, this is simply not the case. While walking carefully and slowly is always advised in icy conditions, companies must take every precaution to promote the safety of their employees, but also to reduce company liability for potential injuries due to workplace injury.

Employees can’t wear them indoors or while driving.

Unfortunately, it is true that no ice cleats are safe to wear indoors or while driving. However, as we mentioned above, most brands of ice cleats are quick and easy to put on or take off when changing walking surfaces. All it takes to switch from winter walking to driving is a quick


Prevention is the best way to handle slip and fall accidents in winter, which is why the added traction of ice cleats is a must-have for outdoor workers. If you’ve been avoiding a purchase for your employees because of one of the excuses above, it’s time to change your mind and get with the (safety) program!

The Benefits of Traveling with Ice Cleats

Safety is often times the number one core value of trucking companies, no matter what industry they serve. In order to carry out this value, it’s important for truck drivers to be prepared at all times, which requires them to have all of the necessary equipment and tools. What do truck drivers need in order to perform a job safely and efficiently? Believe it or not, one of the most important items for a truck driver to have is a pair of ice cleats.

Why are ice cleats important? They will improve a truck driver’s traction and balance on ice and snow, and will ultimately increase your safety on the road. A proper fitting pair of ice cleats are required by most trucking companies and even if they are not required, it’s never a bad idea to add a pair of ice cleats to your closet if they will help prevent you from slipping and falling.

Did you know that the third largest cause of workplace injuries are slip and fall accidents? Yikes! If you are a trucking company investigating the benefits of an ice cleat requirement, you’ll find that there are several. For starters, you’ll see a reduced amount of Worker’s Comp claims from employees because they will be less likely to injure themselves while on the job. You also might see a reduction in insurance policy costs because ice cleats typically comply with insurance standards.

A major reason why truck drivers (And really anyone) resist wearing ice cleats is because they feel like they are not very versatile. However if you browse our large selection of ice cleats you will see that they have come a long way since their humble beginning. Get-A-Grip manufactures a pair of ice cleats that easily attach to casual, dress, and athletic wear. You’ll hardly notice that you have them on! If you’re on the road with your kids during winter vacation, don’t forget to pick up a pair of ice cleats for them too. We have several well-fitting options to choose from.

In addition to packing a pair of ice cleats for when you’re traveling on the road for work, we also recommend bringing cooler for fresh food and water, a basic tool kit and a roadside emergency kit. What items do you bring along with you on the road? Share them with us in our comments section or on Facebook!

What to Have in Your Winter First-Aid Kit

first aid kitWhen you ski or snowboard in-bounds at a heavily populated resort area, you don’t have to worry much about medical emergencies. As long as you dress for the weather in your heated outdoor apparel, you should be fine. And if you do happen to have an accident or require assistance on the slopes, you can count on receiving thorough, professional attention within minutes.

But it’s a different story when you venture out-of-bounds or embark on a backcountry excursion with just a handful of friends. In a situation like that, it’s critical that everyone in the party carry a first-aid kit packed not only with standard supplies but also with items designed specifically for cold-weather crises. So as you gear up for your next extreme adventure, make sure your winter first-aid kit contains the following:

Standard supplies

  • Adhesive bandages in a variety of sizes
  • Medical tape
  • Nonstick gauze pads
  • Ace bandages
  • Wound disinfectant spray
  • Hand sanitizer
  • Moleskin, Glacier Gel, or similar blister treatment
  • Fine-point tweezers for splinter removal
  • OTC pain reliever such as aspirin or ibuprofen
  • Basic first-aid manual

Additional winter supplies

  • Mylar emergency blanket
  • Air-activated hand, body, and foot warmers, such as the Little Hotties products offered by CozyWinters
  • Waterproof matches
  • Safety whistle
  • Instruction manual or cards with information on treating hypothermia, frostbite, and snow blindness

As you can see, adding winter first-aid supplies to your standard first-aid kit won’t result in an overly heavy or bulky pack. Make sure you and your friends include the above items so you’ll be prepared to deal with minor emergencies and will be able to get back to the fun as soon as possible.

Layering Basics for Outdoor Winter Activities

layeringThe key to being able to enjoy outdoor activities in winter is dressing appropriately for the weather conditions. The longer you’re able to stay warm and dry, the more fun you’ll have while snowmobiling, ice skating, hiking, or doing whatever else is on the agenda. Once you become cold and wet, misery quickly follows and you’ll just want to pack everything in and call it a day.

So what’s the best way to dress for the elements? Well, since winter weather can be unpredictable, layering is the approach most people prefer. Dressing in layers allows you to be flexible and add or remove clothing as external temperatures and conditions dictate.

But layering involves a little more thought than simply piling on as many shirts, sweaters, and jackets as possible. Here’s how to do it the right way:

Base layer
The purpose of the base layer is to keep you dry, which means you should wear something made from moisture-wicking fabric that will carry sweat away from your skin. The base layer can be snug or loose, depending on personal preference, and can consist of anything from lightweight thermal underwear to long-sleeved tees or turtlenecks.

Middle layer
While the base layer should keep you dry, the middle layer should retain body heat to keep you warm. Merino wool, fleece, and synthetic materials like Thinsulate are ideal for this layer, as is any battery-heated apparel you may have. The middle layer should be loose to allow for unrestricted movement.

Outer layer
The outer layer or shell is your first line of defense against the cold, wind, and rain, and should therefore consist of the best quality product you can afford. Depending on your intended activity, you should choose a shell that is windproof, waterproof, and temperature rated for expected conditions.

It’s also important to keep your head, hands, and feet warm and dry during your outdoor activities. Fleece hats and toques can help retain heat and repel wind, while battery-heated glove liners, water-resistant gloves or mittens, and insulated boots will ensure your fingers and toes stay toasty warm.

Winter Storm Safety Tips

stormFor the most part, winter is a glorious season that gives rise to gleaming white landscapes and gorgeous days filled with skiing, sledding, trekking, and snowboarding.

But winter can also be extremely dangerous, especially when massive storms bring heavy snowfall and subzero temperatures to large areas of the country. For an example of this, look no further than the havoc created by winter storm Hercules in the Midwest and Northeast a few days ago.

If you live in a place that is vulnerable to fierce storms like Hercules, it’s critical that you maintain your home in a state of readiness so you can increase your chances of surviving whatever ordeal may come your way. Here are a few important tips for what to do before and during winter storms.

Before the storm
Make sure you have the following items on hand well before any big storm is predicted or announced by the weather service:

  • Three-day supply of drinking water for each person in your household (to be calculated as one gallon per person per day)
  • Three-day supply of MREs, energy bars, canned goods, or other easy-to-prepare, nonperishable food items
  • Extra winter clothing for each person, including hats, coats, gloves, and boots
  • Extra blankets
  • Flashlights with fresh batteries
  • First-aid kit and medications
  • Battery-operated or hand-cranked radio for news updates and announcements
  • Pet supplies and pet food, if necessary
  • Alternative heating source, such as a wood-burning stove or fireplace (for safety reasons, avoid using gas or propane grills indoors)
  • Cash for emergency purchases

During the storm
Once a major storm hits, take the following actions to ensure your family’s safety:

  • Stay indoors as much as possible and avoid driving
  • If your home loses power or becomes structurally unsound, go to the nearest public shelter
  • Keep the thermostat set to at least 55 degrees–even overnight–to help prevent pipes from freezing and bursting
  • Bring pets inside or provide them with access to a sturdy shelter
  • When going outdoors, guard against hypothermia by dressing in battery-heated clothing such as vests, jackets, and gloves
  • As soon as conditions permit, check on elderly, disabled, or homebound individuals in your neighborhood
  • In the event of a power outage, use your radio to keep aware of official information

Being prepared with the right supplies and knowing what to do when a major winter storm hits are the biggest keys to outwitting Mother Nature, so keep the above tips in mind and stay safe out there!

Pet Travel Tips for the Holidays

dog travelIf you’re going on a long trip for the holidays, you might be thinking about bringing your dog or cat with you. After all, your pet is a member of the family, and Christmas wouldn’t be the same without your beloved companion by your side.

But traveling with a pet for an extended period of time requires lots of extra planning and preparation on your part. Of foremost concern is the animal’s comfort and safety as it traverses vast distances in the confines of an automobile or airplane — an ordeal that can cause stress, anxiety, and destructive behavior.

To reduce the risk of accident or injury and increase the chances of a successful journey together, try to follow these expert tips for traveling with pets.

By car:

  • Secure the animal in a portable travel pet crate or safety harness instead of letting it roam freely
  • Since pets are prone to motion sickness, do not feed your dog or cat for several hours prior to your departure time
  • Provide plenty of water during the trip
  • Take frequent exercise/potty breaks to allow your pet to get some fresh air, stretch its legs, and do its business
  • Never leave cats or dogs alone in the car for lengthy periods, especially in extreme temperatures

By plane:

  • When possible, transport your pet in the cabin rather than the cargo hold
  • Only book direct flights to limit overall travel time
  • Always travel on the same flight as your pet
  • Label your pet travel crate with your home address and phone number, as well as the contact information for your lodgings in the destination city
  • Reduce anxiety by placing familiar objects in the crate, such as one of your T-shirts, a favorite toy, or a microwavable heating pet pad
  • Make sure your pet’s shots are up to date, otherwise the airline might prohibit boarding

When NOT to Use Electric Blankets

heated blanketUnder normal circumstances, electric blankets are a perfectly safe and inexpensive source of supplemental heat that can help keep you warm throughout the winter. When used at night in place of regular blankets, they allow you to turn your thermostat down several degrees without sacrificing any warmth or comfort. This green practice is not only good for your utility bills, but also for the environment.

Surprisingly, however, several myths about the supposed “dangers” of heated blankets are still floating around out there. For instance, some people believe that these products pose a major fire hazard or emit an electromagnetic field to rival that of the mysterious island from Lost. But the low-voltage wiring used in manufacturing today’s blankets has reduced the fire hazard to virtually nil, while the EMFs generated by a typical blanket is no greater than any other electrical appliance in your home.

Nevertheless, there are a few special cases where you should NOT use electric blankets. Some of these include:

  • When there are pets in your home that could chew or claw through the wiring
  • When you have nerve damage from diabetes or another medical condition that prevents you from sensing heat
  • When you are in the late stages of pregnancy and are worried about raising your body temperature too high

As you can see, the risks of using electric blankets are extremely limited in scope and are due to external rather than internal causes. This means most people will never have to worry about any ill effects from these products.

Now that you know how safe heated blankets are, you can visit to pick out the latest design for your bedroom, living room, or guest room.

Slope Safety Tips for Skiers, Snowboarders, and Trekkers

Winter Trekking One of the best things about winter is having the opportunity to head to the mountains after a fresh snowfall for a beautiful day of skiing, snowboarding, or trekking. These exciting activities are a fantastic way to get your blood flowing and adrenaline pumping, and they sure beat sitting around the house watching reruns on TV.

But nothing can turn a great day into a horrific one faster than an accident, injury, or other mishap out on the slopes. That’s why it’s important to put safety first and be prepared for some of the most common calamities that might arise. Here are a handful of safety tips that all skiers, snowboarders, and trekkers should keep in mind for every outing:

  • Dress in layers that can easily be removed or added according to changing weather conditions
  • Prevent hypothermia by changing into warm, dry gear every day. Portable glove and boot dryers can help get your equipment ready to go in just a few short hours.
  • Never take a jump blindly. Be sure to scout all landing areas and use a spotter if necessary
  • When venturing to remote areas, tell others about your plans, route, and destination
  • Heed all warning signs on the mountain and stay well clear of avalanche danger zones
  • If possible, carry a small shovel and wear an avalanche beacon as added precautions
  • Consider fitting your trekking boots with ice cleats to aid with traction and prevent falls
  • Know your limits and don’t try anything reckless that might needlessly put yourself or others in danger

Not every accident can be avoided, but a “safety first” attitude, common sense, and good preparation will help prevent minor problems from turning into major catastrophes. Keep the above tips in mind the next time you hit the slopes so you can enjoy your day and return in one piece.

Signs/Symptoms of Hypothermia

Stay Safe this Winter Some people take refuge in their homes at the first hint of cold temperatures or snowfall, never to emerge again until spring. But there’s plenty of fun to be had outdoors even in the winter, especially if you take care to protect yourself against the elements with battery heated clothing and similar gear.

For example, a high-quality jacket paired with heated gloves can help ward off hypothermia and other serious risks posed by extreme temperatures. Hypothermia is the condition that arises when your body loses heat at a greater rate than it produces heat, causing your internal temperature to dip to a dangerous—or even life-threatening—level.

If you plan to spend significant time outdoors this winter or if you work with children or the elderly, it would be a good idea to familiarize yourself with some of the most common signs and symptoms of hypothermia. These include:

  • Near-constant shivering that may become progressively more intense
  • Loss of coordination
  • Slow, shallow breathing
  • Stumbling or staggering
  • Drowsiness or lethargy
  • Mumbled or slurred speech
  • Weak pulse
  • Memory loss or confusion
  • Irrational behavior, such as attempting to remove warm clothing

In the elderly, the symptoms of hypothermia may manifest a bit differently—particularly if the condition is caused by factors unrelated to the outdoors (such as a poorly insulated home or cranked up air conditioning).  In these situations be on the lookout for:

  • Faster breathing
  • Increased heart rate
  • High blood pressure
  • Difficulty speaking
  • Fatigue
  • Shivering

And in the case of infants, get ready to take action if you notice bright red skin that is cold to the touch or if the child exhibits very low energy levels.

If left untreated, hypothermia can lead to frostbite, gangrene, trench foot, chilblains, or worse. Being able to recognize the signs and symptoms of this condition is one way to avoid disaster; being prepared for the elements with new battery heated clothing and cold weather gear from is another, so check out our site today.