Health & Safety

December 6, 2013

What to do when it’s c-c-cold

fall-winter-safety-icon
For many people, working or playing in cold weather can be a positive experience. You may feel invigorated by the bracing air and feel like doing your work with more physical energy than usual.

When you work or play outdoors or in unheated structures during the winter months you are at risk for serious health problems including trench foot, frostbite, and hypothermia. In extreme cases, including cold water immersion, exposure can lead to death. Some of the danger signs include uncontrolled shivering, slurred speech, clumsy movements, fatigue, and confused behavior.

Here are some cold weather tips to be familiar with:

• Learn to recognize some of the environmental and workplace conditions that may be dangerous. For example, it doesn’t have to be bone-chillingly cold, with a howling wind, in order for you to be at risk for developing hypothermia. It can happen in above-freezing temperatures.

• Learn the signs and symptoms of cold-induced illnesses and injuries and what to do to help others.

• Wear proper clothing for cold, wet, and windy conditions, including layers that can be adjusted to changing conditions. Remember sweating can quickly make a bad situation worse, so be aware of your body temperature and add or remove layers as needed. If you are playing a sport or run the risk of sweating, you should be bring additional layers of clothing so you can change into layers if required.

• When in extreme conditions, take frequent short breaks in a warm, dry shelter to allow yourself to warm up.

• Try to schedule outside work or play for the warmest part of the day.

• Avoid exhaustion or fatigue because energy is needed to keep muscles warm.

• Use the buddy system – work in pairs, so that others can recognize danger signs.

• Try to keep moving while in the cold; don’t be still. This helps to keep your body temperature up and circulation moving. If you think you are experiencing symptoms of hypothermia or frostbite, get to a shelter right away and seek medical help.

• In addition to dressing properly for cold conditions, it’s important to eat regularly when you are out in the cold, especially foods high in carbohydrates and fats such as hot pasta dishes. Your body requires an enormous number of calories to shiver and keep warm.

• Drink warm, sweet beverages (sugar water, sports-type drinks) and avoid drinks with caffeine (coffee, tea, sodas or hot chocolate) and avoid alcohol.

• Keep in mind, you can face increased risks when you take certain medications, are in poor physical condition, or suffer from illnesses such as diabetes, hypertension, or cardiovascular disease.

Remember: working or playing in cold weather can be a positive experience if you dress warmly and use common sense about protecting yourself.

(Editor’s note: Information provided by Kim Garcia of the U.S. Army Fort Irwin Garrison Safety Office)




All of this week's top headlines to your email every Friday.


 
 

 
DSC_5534

NTC, Fort Irwin celebrates 240th Army birthday

National Training Center and Fort Irwin Commander Brig. Gen. Joseph Martin, Pvt. Nathan Sotelo and Sgt. Maj. Stephen Young cut a cake during the 240th Army birthday celebration here, June 15. Sotelo represented the youngest Sol...
 
 
Photo by Leslie Ozawa

Escape to freedom as a teenager from communist Vietnam

Photo by Leslie Ozawa Lt. Col. Thomas Nguyen speaks about life under the communist regime after the collapse of the government of the Republic of Vietnam in 1975. At Fort Irwin’s Asian-American Pacific Island Heritage Celebra...
 
 

Love and resiliency

Relisa, Robyn and Col. Richard Wilson. “I love being with him.” Those were the genuine, expressive words of a young military family member here not shy about her feelings for her father. Robyn Wilson, 10, said those words about her dad, Col. Richard Wilson – who has been the chief of staff for the National...
 

 
ribbon-cutting

The Box debuts at Fort Irwin Resiliency Center

National Training Center and Fort Irwin leadership, and staff of the new Resiliency Center and “The Box” perform a ribbon cutting, June 15. Walk into Fort Irwin’s recently made-over fitness center and you see clues about ...
 
 
SFCPrice_briefs_BGMartin_2

11th ACR field ammunition supply point opens

Sgt. 1st Class Charles Price (right) briefs National Training Center and Fort Irwin Commander Brig. Gen. Joseph Martin on a new field ammunition supply point of the 11th Armored Cavalry Regiment, June 16. Price is non-commissio...
 
 
crew_brings_sign_down

New NTC, Fort Irwin signs installed on I-15

A crew from California Department of Transportation District 8 (San Bernardino and Riverside County) lifts a sign to be installed on Interstate 15 for the National Training Center and Fort Irwin, June 11. For the first time, th...
 




0 Comments


Be the first to comment!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>