Be Prepared: Cold Tips Everyone Should Know
Cold is cold...and then there's really cold. Unbearable cold. When things start getting below zero, you need to pay attention. Frostbite can occur in 5 minutes when temperatures get to 60 below zero.
We so often as Minnesotans run around in the cold in our shorts and think nothing of it. Please remind your kids that it WON'T be okay to do that this week. Just a few blocks of walking outside with exposed skin in the cold temperatures could really be dangerous.
FROSTBITE AFFECTS MORE THAN FINGERS AND TOES
Frostbite affects your extremities first; Your fingers and toes are not the only things that will be affected. What about the tip of your nose? What about your exposed earlobes? Yes! You can lose all of those parts of your body; and you might consider yourself lucky if you find yourself in a dire situation.
Let's say you are walking home from school. You didn't wear a hat, you didn't wear gloves. You arrive at your front door and the key breaks off in the door. Now you're stuck outside with no way to get inside your home; and you've already been exposed to the cold for an extended period of time. Hypothermia can happen; Uncontrollable shivering, disorientation and incoherence can all happen. If you're all alone, who is going to help you? Reach out for help immediately before it gets to this point. Better yet; don't be the dummy who had to wear shorts to school in 40 below wind chill temps. You'll like a complete dumbbell.
WHAT TO DO IN CASE OF FROSTBITE OR HYPOTHERMIA
See medical attention immediately. The key is to bring the body back to a warm temperature slowly.
DRESS FOR COLD WEATHER
I know winter clothes are bulky...and you can get by in our above zero temperatures as long as the wind chill isn't there taking all your warmth away from your body. But in the weather and temps that are on the horizon, better safe than sorry. You should ALWAYS cover your entire body; fingers; legs; ears; face. Get a scarf, gloves, hat and make sure you are wearing warm clothes on top of all this.
LOOSE FITTING CLOTHES ARE BETTER
You might think that tight fitting clothes will hold the warmth in better, but actually the opposite is true. You should dress in loose fitting clothing; layers will trap air and provide some insulation.
WATER REPELLENT AND HOODED
Your outer clothing should be water repellent, and include at the very least a hood. It will make such a difference. Always wear a hat. Mittens are going to be better for warmth than gloves, and you should cover your mouth and nose with a scarf to protect your lungs.