It’s that time of year again. Winter has arrived and with it comes cold temperatures and snow. While it can be a great time to get outdoors and enjoy the winter wonderland, it’s important to stay safe during freezing weather. Here are 10 tips to keep in mind when venturing out into the cold:
- Dress in layers – Layering your clothing is one of the most effective ways to stay warm in cold weather. Consider wearing an undershirt, a fleece or wool layer, and a waterproof outer layer for maximum protection from the elements.
- Protect your extremities – Wear hats, gloves, scarves, and thick socks or boots to protect your extremities from frostbite. These items should be made of materials that will insulate you from the cold air around you.
- Stay hydrated – It’s easy to forget about drinking water when it’s cold outside. Staying hydrated is important for avoiding dehydration and hypothermia as well as keeping your body temperature regulated.
- Avoid alcohol – Contrary to popular belief, alcohol does not actually make you warmer. Instead it causes blood vessels near your skin’s surface to expand which can lead to heat loss more quickly.
- Check the forecast – Before heading out into freezing temperatures, check the weather forecast. Be aware of any potential hazards or changes in temperature that could occur while you are outdoors.
- Limit time outdoors – While fresh air is always good for us, prolonged exposure to extreme temperatures can be dangerous. Limit time spent outdoors when temperatures drop below 32 degrees Fahrenheit (0 degrees Celsius).
- Monitor children closely – Children naturally have a lower tolerance for extreme temperatures than adults so make sure they are properly dressed at all times. Be sure to keep an eye on them if they do go outside in freezing weather, even if only briefly.
- Carry emergency supplies – Even if you only plan on going out for a short period of time consider carrying emergency supplies. Think about extra blankets, non-perishable food items like granola bars or crackers, and water bottles filled with warm liquids like tea or coffee. Don’t forget flashlights with extra batteries; just in case something unexpected happens while you’re away from home.
- Let someone know where you’re going – Before departing for any outdoor excursions let someone know exactly where you plan on going along with how long you anticipate being gone. This way if something happens during your trip there will be someone else who knows where you were headed. Just in case help needs to be sent out after an emergency situation occurs.
- Take breaks often – Taking frequent breaks while outside during extremely cold weather. This helps keep energy levels up as well as prevents fatigue. Fatigue can lead to dangerous situations due to exhaustion setting in too quickly. Strenuous activity being done without proper rest periods should be avoided.
CSRE offers Community Courses, focused on the general population, Workforce education, targeted at industry and the commercial workforce, and Healthcare provider BLS and ECC (ACLS & PALS) courses from the American Heart Association and Health Safety Institute.