Winter Weather Health Tips

The harsh cold conditions brought by this blizzard can be a serious health concern.

Throughout this winter season, keeping your family safe and healthy is extremely important and there many ways of doing so. Some less obvious than others.

Although it may sound obvious, dressing correctly for the weather is important.

“When you start getting these zero degree temperatures and then a wind chill on top, it really doesn’t take long. We’re talking minutes to wind up with potential frostbite if you’ve got your skin right out in that cold,” says Dr. Tony Hamilton at Essentia Health.

Covering up with thermal underwear, a warm hat, a face mask, gloves and a heavy jacket can help protect you.

“The idea is to trap air that can warm up and be a protective layer and then something to block the wind on the outside if you’re out in windy weather,” says Dr. Hamilton.

Another risk can come from exercising and working outside in the cold.

“Folks aren’t used to exercising particularly this time of year. You know, it’s all about the holidays and eating,” says Dr. Hamilton.

That extra strain in deteriorating conditions can potentially trigger a medical emergency.

“You can’t go out there after living a sedentary lifestyle and decide you’re going to shovel a 30 foot driveway,” says Dr. Hamilton.

The people who are most at risk during the winter are people with pre–existing medical conditions and the elderly.

“Check on those folks. If you have a family member or friends you’ve just got to make sure that they are protecting themselves and that they’re not pushing that temperature gauge lower and lower in their apartment trying to save a few dollars,” says Dr. Hamilton.

Dr. Hamilton says that even a few degrees in an apartment can cause an elderly person to get sick from the cold.

Dr. Hamilton says the most important thing is to make sure that you’re always prepared for cold weather regardless of what you’re expecting because it can strike at any time and you want to make sure you are ready for it when it hits.

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