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Tips to Keep Safe in The Winter Cold

Written by Courteney

Posted on January 13, 2017 at 2:00 pm

Winter can be a favored season for those who enjoy winter sports or are fond of the snow, but it can also be a perilous time of year, opening the door for many seasonal dangers. Let’s take a look at some precautionary tips to heed in the winter:

  • Bundle up – It is best to wear layers (and pack extra ones) in winter so you can take them off if you’re too warm or add to them if you’re too cold. If you tend to get cold hands or feet easily (or if you suffer from Raynaud’s), you can buy a variety of mini hand warmers to put in your gloves or winter boots.
  • Keep an eye on the weather – If you are planning an outdoors excursion in the winter cold, be sure to check up on the forecast beforehand. If the temperature or wind-chill is too low or there’s a storm brewing, you should plan it for a different date.
  • Don’t let hypothermia creep in – Many people think hypothermia only happens in sub-freezing temperatures, but that is a misconception. This deadly winter danger can strike in temperatures as high as 50’F depending on the other conditions. Read more about hypothermia in our post: Must-Know Facts About Hypothermia.
  • Keep a ‘Winter Kit’ in your car – Be sure to pre-pack a winter emergency kit in the trunk of your car in case you get stranded in the cold. You may want to include: a thermal (foil) blanket, extra coat, mittens and hat, an extra pair of boots as well as a full change of clothes including a couple pairs of socks (in case you have to spend the night somewhere without heat). You should also include some food rations, water, instant heat-packs, a first aid kit, some Advil or Tylenol, a flashlight and a swiss army knife or similar tool.
  • If you have a lung condition, avoid the cold air – The harsh, dry winter air can be rough on the lungs of an asthmatic or COPD sufferer. It can cause the airways to constrict (bronchoconstriction). This can directly contribute to an asthma attack, especially when combined with physical exertion. So, be sure to limit your outside time when the temperature drops too low or wear a scarf around your face if you have a compromised respiratory system!
  • Know the signs of frostbite – Are your extremities so cold they are starting to tingle or hurt, or change color? It is important to know the signs so frostnip doesn’t turn into full-fledged frostbite! Take our Frostbite Quiz to learn more.
  • Pack a car phone charger – It is important to always take your cell phone when driving or walking anywhere alone in winter. If you get stranded in the cold because of a flat tire or wrong turn and your phone has died, a car cell phone charger may save your buns. You can also purchase battery-fueled and solar powered phone chargers.
  • Beware of Icy Accidents – another feared winter danger is an icy slip-and-fall. Falls are major contributors to premature death, especially in the elderly population. It is so easy to hit your head or break an arm when slipping on the ice. Use special gripping tracks on your shoes and boots and always walk slowly and tentatively on icy surfaces with your hands out to brace you.

Keep an eye out for Winter Safety Tips for Children in the future! Thanks for visiting DocChat.

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