Winter Safety Tips
- Wear layers of warm, dry clothing, including hat and gloves.
Clothing insulates the body to keep it warm and acts as a barrier
between your warm body and the outside cold environment.
- Wear a coat that has a water-resistant outside layer. Sock
liners can be worn to keep moisture out and keep feet warm. Wear
mittens instead of gloves to keep hands warmer
- Drink lots of water and other non-alcoholic beverages like coffee,
tea and hot chocolate to keep your body temperature stable.
- Check the weather reports and heed any weather advisories.
- Be aware of the signs and treatments for frostbite and hypothermia,
the two most common winter illnesses.
- What it is: It's the number one winter concern. Wind
chill, wet clothing, alcohol consumption and poor circulation can make
a person more susceptible to frostbite. Superficial frostbite
shows up as white or grayish-yellow patches on the skin, usually the
fingers, toes, and face. The affected area usually feels hard
and waxy, and often numb and tingly. Deep frostbite often turns
skin black and is associated with loss of feeling in the affected
- What to do: Warm the skin gradually. If your clothes are
wet, change into dry clothing. Immerse the area in WARM water
(not hotter than 105 F). Do NOT use a heating pad, heat lamp,
stove or fireplace as this may warm the skin unevenly or cause further
burns. Do NOT rub or massage the affected area, this could cause
more damage. If the skin blisters, swells, remains numb, or does
not warm seek immediate medical attention.
- What it is: It does not happen in matter of minutes like
frostbite, but develops over several hours of exposure to the
cold. Wearing wet clothing and being immersed in cold water can
increase the risk of developing hypothermia. Signs of
hypothermia include slurred speech, slow pulse, shallow slow
respirations, sluggishness, stiff muscles and mental confusion.
If left untreated, this can lead to coma and death.
- What to do: Call 911 or get to an emergency room
immediately. If you are wearing wet clothing, remove it and put
on warm clothing or blankets, especially wool or synthetic fabric that
insulates well. If clothing or blankets are not available, you
can stay warm by making skin-to-skin contact. Keep your muscles
moving, but do NOT sweat because this will cool the body. Drink
warm fluids that do not contain caffeine or alcohol. Do NOT sit
in front of a fire, heater or stove as this could increase the chance
of getting burns due to decreased skin sensation.
Article written by Heather Robinson, RN,
This page is meant for public education
in basic medical safety issues. The Cedarville Township Fire
Department is not responsible for any further complications resulting from
improper use of information contained on this page.
Cedarville Township Volunteer Fire Department
19 South St.
Cedarville, OH, 45314
Phone: 937-766-5851 - Email: firstname.lastname@example.org