Winter is in full swing, and that means colder temperatures and a higher risk for cold related emergencies. If you spend prolonged time outside for work, or for fun, you could be susceptible to Frostbite, Hypothermia and/or Immersion Foot.
- Frostbite can happen when parts of your body (like fingers, nose and toes) are exposed to the cold. The severity depends on the air temperature, length of exposure and wind.
- Hypothermia occurs when your body’s ability to keep warm fails. In fact, the temperature does not need to be below freezing to develop hypothermia. When a person stops shivering, it’s a sign of further deterioration – seek medical treatment immediately.
- Immersion Foot is due to prolonged exposure to the wet and cold. Wet feet lose heat 25 times faster than dry feet; as the body fights to stay warm, circulation decreases.
Those who work outdoors or in a cold environment are at an even greater risk to suffer from cold stress. The Department of Labor recommends employers provide training, protection from the elements when possible, and safe work practices to prevent cold emergencies.
What can you do to stay safe this winter?
- Check your local weather forecast before heading outside. Pay particular attention to air temperature and the wind chill.
- Dress properly – wear layers.
- Stay dry!
- Know First Aid! It is imperative to know the signs of distress, and how to treat frostbite and hypothermia properly.
Enjoy winter fun – but be prepared! Click HERE to see our next available class!