Breaking News Bar
posted: 1/6/2014 10:36 AM

Simple tips to survive the bitter cold

hello
Success - Article sent! close
 
Submitted by Advocate Good Shepherd Hospital

Midwesterners are quite used to Mother Nature's fickle ways during the winter, but with this week's extreme temperatures, a medical expert from Advocate Good Shepherd Hospital shares tips to stay safe.

While staying inside under a blanket sounds ideal, most of us need to go outside to run errands or head to work. When spending time outside in subzero temperatures, Dr. Melinda Einfalt, an internist at Good Shepherd, advises the following:

Order Reprint Print Article
 
Interested in reusing this article?
Custom reprints are a powerful and strategic way to share your article with customers, employees and prospects.
The YGS Group provides digital and printed reprint services for Daily Herald. Complete the form to the right and a reprint consultant will contact you to discuss how you can reuse this article.
Need more information about reprints? Visit our Reprints Section for more details.

Contact information ( * required )

Success - request sent close

"One of the most important things can do in weather like this is to limit the amount of time you are exposed to the elements," says Dr. Einfalt. "Try not to be outside any longer than 20 minutes since any longer and you risk frostbite."

A few tips to help cope:

• Cover yourself completely to limit the amount of skin exposed to the elements. Make certain to cover your head, face, neck and hands, where most of your body heat can escape.

• Layer your clothing. Thermal underwear is always a good choice, as are sweaters and double layers of heavy socks. For outer layers, make certain you wear a heavy material, such as wool or down.

• Overexertion can be dangerous. When you do too much, your body heats up, naturally sweating to cool itself down. This added wetness can be extremely dangerous in low wind chills, adding to the risk of frostbite and hypothermia.

If your head or feet get wet, your body will lose heat much faster. Layers help to protect against wetness, as you can remove a top layer if it gets wet to avoid soaking through to the clothing nearest your body.

• Avoid drinking alcohol since it can only make you think you're warm. When you drink, it dilates the peripheral blood vessels near your skin, which means more blood -- and heat -- flows to these vessels away from the core of your body.

"If you notice any areas of your skin that have changed color -- white, gray or yellow -- you may have frostbite," Dr. Einfalt says. "The majority of frostbite can be successfully treated when caught in time, so get to your doctor immediately."

Share this page
Comments ()
Guidelines: Keep it civil and on topic; no profanity, vulgarity, slurs or personal attacks. People who harass others or joke about tragedies will be blocked. If a comment violates these standards or our terms of service, click the X in the upper right corner of the comment box. To find our more, read our FAQ.
    help here