How to Stay Safe in the Cold Weather


We are all tired of old man winter. Unfortunately, he isn’t done with us yet. We are still at risk for cold weather emergencies such as frost nip, frost bite & hypothermia. The following information may help to keep you safe in the cold weather.

-          Check thetemperature before venturing outdoors. Factor in the wind chill. If weather & temperatures are extreme, postpone travel & outdoor activities.

-         If you work outdoors or enjoy outdoor recreation, it will be worth your while to invest in good quality outdoor gear/clothing. In the cold weather, it is best to wear layers of clothing:

  • Start with a thin layer of clothes.  Silk, polyester & nylon fabrics are best next to your skin as they wick moisture away from the skin & keep you warmer. AVOID COTTON. Cotton underwear, long johns & clothes keep moisture, like sweat, next to your skin. If your skin is wet, you are at risk for a cold weather emergency.
  • Next add a layer of clothes made of tightly woven fibres, such as wool or synthetics/fleeces (which trap air against your body).
  • Your outside layer should be wind & water proof or resistant.

-          If you have been sweating or your clothes get wet, change into dry clothes immediately.

-          Don’t wear socks made of cotton. Socks made of wool or synthetic fibres are best for warmth. Don’t layer socks.  If they are tight on your feet, circulation may be poor & frost bite may occur.

-          Cover your head & trunk/body as you lose most of your heat from these areas.

-          Cover vulnerable areas such as ears, nose & fingers. Don’t wear gloves that are tight. Mittens keep you warmer than gloves.

-          Wear appropriate foot wear/boots & water proof them.

-          Take frequent breaks from the cold. As soon as you start shivering, or if your fingers start tingling & go numb, get out of the cold & warm up.

-          Stay hydrated. Drink warm fluids or water. Avoid caffeine & alcohol as they cause dehydration. When dehydrated, your body can not control its temperature.

-          When venturing into the wilderness to winter camp, hike, ski or skidoo; let someone know where you are going & when you plan to return. Take a cell phone, small survival/first aid kit & matches/lighter with you.

-          Keep a pair of gloves, a hat & warm boots in your vehicle in case of a breakdown or accident.

-          Pack a warm blanket, sleeping bag or ski suit in your vehicle if planning a road trip.

It is no fun being cold. In fact it can be fatal. Don’t take chances, be prepared & dress for the weather.

While injury prevention is best, it is also important to learn first aid for cold weather emergencies. Register for one of our first aid classes: http://www.go-getters.ca/first-aid-course-da/