Tuesday, 21 January 2014 03:25

Enjoying The Winter Months Safely

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Enjoying the Winter Months Safely

 

 

Winter is a fantastic time of the year filled with snow, thermal clothing and hot soups and drinks. It is also a fun time to go skiing, build snowmen and toboggan down your nearest slope. There is, though a serious side to a white winter period and that involves staying warm and safe as the temperature plummets and the winds get cold. It is important that you are well prepared and know how to be safe whilst you are having fun.

Keep Your Body Warm

Wearing enough layers of clothing is the first step in remaining warm. There is nothing worse that underestimating the wind chill factor outside when you are playing in the park or rolling in the snow and realizing that the clothes you are wearing are not keeping you warm. It is easier to start out with too many layers of clothing and then remove those layers once you warm up from running and playing around.

With your shoes, make sure you wear water proof boots or at the bare minimum enclosed shoes with thick socks. If you plan on walking over rocky or icy terrain make sure your shoes have good tread and don’t slip easily.

Your pants should also be waterproof and have enough room that you can move easily. Wearing jeans will not keep you warm and the water from the ice will soak through your pants making it extremely uncomfortable when you walk and move around.

With your upper body, again it is important that you wear a long sleeve shirt and you have a waterproof jacket. Gloves and a beanie are fantastic accessories to keep your hands and head warm. Heat from your body is lost from your head so wearing a beanie will ensure that the heat remains on your body. Your fingers are one of the first parts of your body to feel the cold and they are the most important part of your body when playing with snow and having fun. Therefore it is important that you wear thick waterproof gloves at all times.

Remember: ‘Cold fingers make for bad snow experiences’

Fluids are important in the cold as well

You may be thinking that drinking lots of water is only important during the warmer months of the year. But the truth is your body sweats in cold weather as well. With layers of clothing combined with heavy breathing and exercise, your body heats up quickly and can sweat releasing water from your body. The challenge with cold weather is that you don’t always realise that you are sweating which can lead to dehydration. Therefore, it is important that you take regular breaks and re-hydrate your body with water, warm drinks and soups.

Be wary of Frost Bite

Frost bite occurs when the body’s tissue below the skin gets really cold and freezes restricting blood flow to that area of body. Frostbite is most likely to affect body parts that are farther away from the body core and, therefore, have less blood flow. These include your feet, toes, hands, fingers, nose, and ears.

If you are wearing the right attire like the waterproof jacket, pants and gloves, you will not have any issues with frost bite. If however, you are not wearing the right clothing and your body parts happen to be exposed to the snow and cold for long periods you may develop the symptoms of frostbite. The symptoms of frost bite include cold, white and hard skin, numbness, loss of feeling in the affected area as well as swelling and blistering. If you notice any of these symptoms, then you should stop what you are doing and tell your parents or an adult straight away.

In the first instance your parents or an adult will most likely conduct first aid for frost bite which may include:

  • Wrapping a blanket to warm the person’s entire body.
  • Resting the affect area to prevent further damage; for example, if your feet have been affected it is important that you avoid walking.
  • Not attempting to thaw your affected parts if there is a chance of it being refrozen.
  • Never breaking the blisters.

If your symptoms don’t reside after the parent or adult has administered first aid then you will need medical assistance.

By understanding and adhering to these simple steps, your winter experiences outdoors will be memorable with lots of fun with friends and family. Remember to wear warm layers of clothing, rest frequently and rehydrate your body ever hour and you will never have any winter snow blunders.

Read 1878 times Last modified on Friday, 07 March 2014 02:21

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