Baby, It’s Cold Outside!

If you work outside for a living, you know that wintertime is no picnic. It’s just as cold if you enjoy skiing or skating or sledding or ice fishing. The cold temperatures can cause your body to develop “hypothermia” or cold stress, which can be quite dangerous.

Even if your body temperature drops just a few degrees below normal, you could begin to shiver uncontrollably and become weak, drowsy, disoriented, unconscious, and even fatally ill. Here are some tips to help keep you warm and healthy this winter season:

Dress in layers to avoid losing body heat.

First of all, layering allows you to remove clothing if you (or the weather) starts to warm up. Secondly, layers of air are trapped between the clothing, and provide insulation that helps to retain heat.

The best types of materials to wear next to the skin are polypropylene, a hydrophobic synthetic material that draws sweat away from the body, or lightweight wool. Next, wear woolen layers over your under-garments.

Outer clothing should be made of waterproof, but breathable, wind-resistant fabrics such as nylon. Always wear a hat to avoid the considerable amount of heat lost through the head. Wear gloves and layered socks to protect the extremities.

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Stay dry

Water chills the body more rapidly than air or wind. Experts say that even in the heat of the summer, falling into a lake with a water temperature of 40 degrees F can be fatal in a matter of minutes. Take along a dry set of clothes .Wear waterproof boots in damp or snowy conditions.

Don’t be alone

The effects of hypothermia can be gradual and often go unnoticed until it is too late. It’s best to have a companion with you or let someone know where you will be and what time you expect to be finished. Take plenty of breaks in a warm environment.

Use common sense.

If there’s a blizzard outside, it’s time to come in from the cold!

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