Across our nation temperatures are being replaced with below-average readings – as much as 20 to 30 degrees colder than average – and colder storm weather is forecasted into the new year. Jack Frost has arrived for the holidays to nip at our fingers, nose, toes, homes, vehicles and those we love (including our pets). Medical physicians are preparing to see cold related cases from frostbite, hypothermia to carbon monoxide poisoning as well as the seasonal influenza. Here are some steps to help you and yours to stay healthy and safe in our cold (ice, snow and chilly) weather.
Dr. Nina’s What You Need To Know: About Staying Healthy & Safe in Cold Weather
Preparing Ourselves: Prevent Attacks of the Cold – Frostbite, Hypothermia and Overexertion
Overall, it is important to bundle up for warmth in the cold with layers that includes covering your entire body – torso, legs, feet, hands, neck, ears and entire head included.
Frostbite is injury caused by freezing of the skin and underlying tissues. Exposure to cold weather conditions — especially when there is a wind chill factor — is the most likely cause and know too, you can get it in just minutes. Frostbite can also result from direct contact with ice, freezing metals, and very cold liquids.
Hypothermia describes dangerously low body temperatures that result from our body losing heat faster than it produces it. Normally, our body maintains a temperature of 98.6oF (37oC). Hypothermia is typically seen when the temperature drops to below 95oF (35oC).
Some tips to prevent frostbite and hypothermia include:
• Limiting time outdoors to less than 10 minutes, whenever possible
• Warming our body from the inside with hot liquids (e.g. soups, tea, coffee)
• And while said before, it bears repeating: Dressing appropriately—donning multiple layers of loose clothing and covering ears, head, face, hands and feet
• Keeping dry with water repellant items and removing wet clothing immediately. And pay special attention to snow or other precipitation getting under our sleeves or into our boots. [Read more…]