Leaves are beginning to fall, pumpkins are being carved and turkeys are running for cover. That can only mean one thing. That is that winter is right around the corner and it is the right time to think about being prepared for old man winter. Few people realize just how cold weather can affect our bodies and the dangers that go with temperatures that drop below 32 degrees. It can be particularly dangerous to seniors and children, and just as threatening to everyone in between, given the right set of circumstances. I thought I would take a few moments of your time and get you thinking about how to prepare for winter.
Most of us just “run out of the house” in the morning and figure that since we will be in our nice warm cars that the sub freezing temperatures are nothing to be concerned about. Think again. Stepping into a slushy puddle on the way to the train station, or that patch of ice on the driveway can have life altering effects not only on you, but on your family’s as well (as they are the ones that would have to take care of you if you break that ankle or are in the hospital being treated for frostbite or worse).
Take a moment and think about “what could happen” and this blog will not have been written in vein.
To begin with.
1) Always dress your feet and body in accordance with the wind-chill temperature. Don’t let “my nice warm car”, excuse yourself for not dressing for the weather. Ever have to contend with a dead battery on a sub zero- evening getting out of work?? Hitting a patch of ice with your car could result in a several hour wait for road service to tow you home.
2) Always leave a change of clothes in the trunk of your car for those unexpected cold weather emergencies. Not only yours, but for being a “good Samaritan” should you stop and help other stranded motorists. Extra shoes, boots, socks , hats, gloves etc. can come in handy when you least expect it.
3) There are lots of fantastic new materials out in the way of socks, gloves and hats, that can help to ward off or at least delay the onset of frostbite or chilblains (more on these in a later blog). A trip to your local ski shop will educate you on materials such as “Silk Sock liners”, “Thermax”, “Polyproplene” “Merino Wool” as well as dozens of other name brands will help to keep your feet, hands and heads warm and toasty under some of the more extreme conditions you might find yourself encountering. (Better to be safe than sorry…Right?).
4) Seniors and children need to pay particular attention to keeping their feet, warm and dry during the winter months. Those seniors with “neuropathy” won’t feel much of the cold and this can cause life threatening complications. Seniors need to keep their feet well moisturized to prevent skin from cracking with the warm/hot and dry air inside their homes. Children need to be watched closely and have their feet , hands and ears checked when coming in from playing out in the snow, or even just a short walk home from school.
A little prevention is worth more than a pound of cure…Especially when it pertains to our loved ones.