Staying Safe in the Cold From Family Watchdog.
With the cold season fast approaching, and here already for most of us, we wanted to highlight winter safety in this month’s newsletter. Too many cold weather incidents happen yearly, most of them easily prevented. Check out the following tips and pointers we have gathered for your reading (and learning) pleasure.
Protect your hands and feet. Wear mittens when possible because your fingers can share warmth (regular gloves are good, but mittens have the edge.) Wear socks that will keep your feet dry and warm. Some people wear a light liner sock made of a material that wicks away moisture next to the foot and then put a natural fiber sock over it. Try to wear the higher cut socks, not the low risers.
Protect your lips. Use lip balm to keep your lips from drying out from the cold and windy weather.
Avoid dehydration. As long as fluids are not restricted by your physician, drink plenty of water to stay well hydrated.
Dress properly. Wear outer clothing that shields the wind and sun from your skin. Cold and windy air causes a wind-chill effect that is much colder and more dangerous than the outside air temperature.
Avoid alcohol. Alcohol causes your body to lose heat, in addition to contributing to dehydration.
Be prepared. When traveling by car, keep extra socks, blankets, water and snacks on hand in case a mechanical problem, storm or empty gas tank leaves you stranded. Inquire about your meds. Ask your physician or pharmacist if any of the medications you take can make you more susceptible to a cold-weather illness.
Protect your children. Instruct the kids to come inside when they feel cold, or if their clothes get wet. Play it safe. Because they pose a strangulation risk, it's best not to wrap children in scarves. Instead, use a neck "gaiter", which stays in place and keeps your child warm without risk.
Eat light. A snack before going out in the cold is better than a heavy meal, which requires a large blood flow to the gastrointestinal system to aid in digestion. The digestive process may prevent warm blood from circulating to your fingers and toes. Save the heavier meal for when you are safely back inside.
Winterize your house. Just as you dress yourself in extra layers and winterize your house to protect it from the cold, your car needs extra preparation to make it through the winter as well. But getting ready is only half the battle. Winter driving conditions also make driving differently. Snow and ice need to be taken seriously and prepared for.
2003-17 The Bullock Gazette