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Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2016, 13(8), 822; doi:10.3390/ijerph13080822

Role of Winter Weather Conditions and Slipperiness on Tourists’ Accidents in Finland

1
Faculty of Humanities, University of Oulu, 90014 Oulu, Finland
2
Faculty of Medicine, Arctic Health, University of Oulu, 90014 Oulu, Finland
3
Medical Research Center Oulu, Oulu University Hospital, 90220 Oulu, Finland
4
Thule Institute, University of Oulu, 90014 Oulu, Finland
5
Medical Informatics and Statistics Group, University of Oulu, 90220 Oulu, Finland
6
Finnish Meteorological Institute, 00560 Helsinki, Finland
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Paul B. Tchounwou
Received: 27 April 2016 / Revised: 22 July 2016 / Accepted: 8 August 2016 / Published: 15 August 2016
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Abstract

(1) Background: In Finland, slippery snowy or icy ground surface conditions can be quite hazardous to human health during wintertime. We focused on the impacts of the variability in weather conditions on tourists’ health via documented accidents during the winter season in the Sotkamo area. We attempted to estimate the slipping hazard in a specific context of space and time focusing on the weather and other possible parameters, responsible for fluctuations in the numbers of injuries/accidents; (2) Methods: We used statistical distributions with graphical illustrations to examine the distribution of visits to Kainuu Hospital by non-local patients and their characteristics/causes; graphs to illustrate the distribution of the different characteristics of weather conditions; questionnaires and interviews conducted among health care and safety personnel in Sotkamo and Kuusamo; (3) Results: There was a clear seasonal distribution in the numbers and types of extremity injuries of non-local patients. While the risk of slipping is emphasized, other factors leading to injuries are evaluated; and (4) Conclusions: The study highlighted the clear role of wintery weather conditions as a cause of extremity injuries even though other aspects must also be considered. Future scenarios, challenges and adaptive strategies are also discussed from the viewpoint of climate change. View Full-Text
Keywords: climate; slipping hazards; tourist patients; extremity injuries; weather climate; slipping hazards; tourist patients; extremity injuries; weather
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MDPI and ACS Style

Lépy, É.; Rantala, S.; Huusko, A.; Nieminen, P.; Hippi, M.; Rautio, A. Role of Winter Weather Conditions and Slipperiness on Tourists’ Accidents in Finland. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2016, 13, 822.

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