The Big Chill

Brrrr! Depending on where you live, the winter months can bring about dramatic changes in climate and temperature. For those of you from areas that experience cold winters, take extra special care when outdoors.

Being exposed to cold weather, even for a short period of time, can be dangerous if you are not adequately prepared. If you begin to shiver, feel cold or numb, or your skin turns whitish in colour, this means your body is losing too much heat and you could suffer frostbite. Being out in cold winds means you are even more likely to be affected.

To avoid frostbite, rug up before going outside. Put on an extra layer of clothing and a weatherproof jacket. Wear gloves, scarves and socks, with spares in case the ones you are wearing get wet. Keep your head warm, as this is where most body heat is lost. Drink plenty of fluids, eat regularly and keep an eye on your skin for signs of frostbite.

If you or someone you know gets frostbitten, first warm the affected skin in comfortably warm water. Next, slowly warm the entire body and take any pressure off the frostbitten area. Most damage to the skin occurs when the body is being rewarmed, so make sure the water is at a comfortable temperature and be careful not to rub the affected area.

Just because it’s winter doesn’t mean you have to spend all day indoors. Enjoy the outdoors and make the most of it, but be prepared.


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