Exposure to cold can be life-threatening. Avoid serious conditions such as frostbite and hypothermia by taking steps to keep warm.
- Wear a hat, hood, or scarf, as most heat is lost through the head.
- Wear layers as they provide better insulation and warmth.
- Keep fingertips, earlobes, and noses covered if you go outside.
- Keep clothing dry; if a layer becomes wet, remove it.
- Drinking alcohol may make you think you feel warmer but actually increases your chances of hypothermia and frostbite
- Shivering is an important first sign that the body is losing heat. Shivering is a signal to return indoors.
- Cold weather puts an extra strain on the heart. If you have heart disease or high blood pressure, follow your doctor’s advice about shoveling snow or performing other hard work in the cold. Remember, your body is already working hard just to stay warm, so don’t overdo it.
- Avoid fall hazards from snow and ice. Wear sturdy boots that provide traction to reduce slipping. Use handrails when using stairs.
- Workers in construction and utilities, and others who spend a lot of time outdoors are at risk for cold-related disorders. Employers should implement safe work practices, provide appropriate protective equipment, and train workers on health effects of cold weather, proper prevention techniques, and treatment of cold-related disorders. For more information, see: CDC - Cold Stress.