Staying Safe When Outdoors this Winter

Many of us are entering the coldest time of the year. Cold temperatures make your body lose heat faster than it can be produced. This condition results in abnormally low body temperature, also known as hypothermia.

Hypothermia affects the brain, leaving the victim unable to think clearly or move well. This inability makes hypothermia particularly dangerous because a person may not know it’s happening. Victims of hypothermia are often:

  • Seniors with inadequate heating, food or clothing;
  • Babies sleeping in cold rooms; and
  • People who remain outdoors for long periods like the homeless, hikers or hunters.

In extreme cold, make outside trips as brief as possible to protect your health and safety. However, if you must be outside take a few special precautions:

  • Dress warmly and in layers.  A waterproof jacket will help you stay warm and dry if it starts to snow;
  • Have hand and body warmers
  • Work slowly if you have to do heavy outdoor chores; and
  • Notify friends and family where you will be before you go hiking, camping or skiing.

Do not ignore shivering. It is an important first sign that the body is losing heat. Learn the other signs of hypothermia and how to care for someone who may be suffering from it before your next outdoor winter excursion. freezing_cold_traveling

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