During the winter months, you will be exposed to harsh conditions that can pose a number of unique health threats to you and your family. If you are new to an area that will experience particularly cold temperatures in the winter, you may not be fully prepared.
Know The Warning Signs Of Frostbite
Frostbite is one of the more common and serious problems that can arise from being exposed to extremely cold temperatures for long periods of time. When a person starts to suffer frostbite, their skin will likely go number and turn a bright red color. Once this starts to occur, immediate action is necessary to prevent the frostbite from becoming severe enough for medical treatment. In particular, you should move inside and attempt to gradually warm the affected area. As your skin warms, the sensation should change from being numb to mild burning. If the numbness fails to recede or if the skin turns a pale color with blisters, urgent professional treatment is required.
Keep Cold Weather Supplies In Your Vehicle
Your vehicle breaking down or getting stuck due to an accident can leave you stranded by the side of the road for hours. When the weather is extremely cold, this can put you at risk of suffering from hypothermia, frostbite and other cold-related conditions. Keeping a small bag with blankets, hand warmers and other winter supplies will help you to manage until help is able to get to you.
Protect Your Feet From Cold And Wet Conditions
The feet will be the extremities that are at the most risk of suffering cold-related injuries or problems. This is due to the shoes and socks getting wet from melting snow and ice. When your feet get wet during periods of freezing temperatures, it can greatly increase the risk of your toes developing frostbite. Unfortunately, it can be impossible to completely prevent water from being able to soak through your shoes. One way to help protect your feet will be to place a plastic bag over your socks before you put on your shoes. This will prevent the socks from getting wet, and this may greatly lower the risk of frostbite from developing.
Invest In Shoes To Protect Your Ankles
Sprained and broken ankles is another common winter problem due to people slipping on patches of ice. While being careful when walking after snow or ice storms is the most effective option for preventing this injury, having sturdy shoes that provide ample ankle support can further reduce this risk. In the event you slip, this support can help to prevent the ankle from bending in an unnatural way.
If you do get ill or injured due to cold weather conditions, visit a walk in clinic right away, or go to the ER if it's a serious issue.
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