How to Stay Safe When It's Cold Outside

How to Stay Safe When It's Cold Outside

It's officially the first week of winter and some snow is finally appearing on the weather map. With that fact in mind and the recent blizzard out west, I've done some reflecting on how to properly plan for an outdoor excursion into cold, snowy weather for reasons including exercising, taking part in a winter sport and playing with children out in the elements.

 

Pick out clothes you can layer while you're getting dress as this will help you stay warm and protected while you're outside. Later, you can remove the layers when you start sweating but will have the needed gear to stay warm. Experiment until you find the right combination to wear outside while you're active. Wear shoes with good traction to prevent slips and falls from happening during wet or icy conditions.

 

Don't forget about your hands, feet and ears because these body parts are vulnerable to cold weather and wind, which can lead to frostbite, according to the Mayo Clinic's website in an article titled “Exercise and Cold Weather: Tips to Stay Safe Outdoors.”

 

Factor in changing weather before you head outside if the forecast calls for extreme wind chills or rain and wait until these conditions dissipate before scheduling your favorite outdoor activity. Cold rain and wind chills can penetrate through clothes, causing your body's core temperature to lower.

 

Learn the symptoms of frostbite and hypothermia to prepare for the potential hazards that crop up in extreme cold weather. Frostbite signs include numbness, tingling or you can't feel the affected body part. Hypothermia causes speech loss, excessive shivering, uncoordinated movements and tiredness. Seek emergency medical care for signs of frostbite if any area of your body goes numb as a result of cold weather. Head straight to the nearest hospital if you suspect you or a loved one shows signs of hypothermia.

 

Keeping these cold weather tips in mind will help you dodge the majority of problems associated with outdoor activities during the winter months.