Winter Survival Guide: Avoid Slipping, Hypothermia & Dehydration

With Winter Storm Jonas now behind us, it’s relatively safe to assume that we’re not going to see another storm of that proportion again this winter. However, we’re not quite out of the woods yet; there’s still two full months remaining of winter. For the sake of being safe rather than sorry, it’s smart to prepare ourselves as if there’s another major winter storm headed our way.

Here’s our guide to help you steer clear of slipping on ice, or developing hypothermia or dehydration:

Prevent Dehydration by Having Water on You at All Times

  • The cold winter air is also incredibly dry. This makes it easier for people to develop dehydration, seeing as it’s harder to notice you’re dehydrated when it’s colder outside.
  • On frigid days, your body works extra hard to keep yourself warm. Don’t over-exhaust yourself when you’re shoveling, playing hockey or skiing, as dehydration can lead to getting light-headed and then potentially injured.

Dress Warmly to Avoid Hypothermia

  • Cotton makes a great fabric for certain layers of clothing, but not necessarily for undergarments. Polypropylene layers, wool and silk make effective materials for long underwear.
  • Make sure your clothes are water-resistant. Sopping wet clothes are infinitely detrimental to staying warm, regardless of how warm they are when they’re dry. Winter boots are useless unless they’re waterproof, too.
  • Notice the wind chill in addition to the temperature when you’re planning your outfit. Wind chill calculates how cold it actually feels when you’re outside. A temperature of 0° with a 10mph gust of wind equates to a -16° wind chill.

Watch Out for Black Ice

  • Beware of driveways/sidewalks with water sources near them. Gutters and hoses often leak out excess water, which then freeze overnight, which easily creates black ice.
  • Newer sidewalks or driveways have a darker tinge to them, making it more difficult to spot black ice.
  • Stick to sidewalks that have been salted. Some sidewalks have a whitish hue to them, which is the result of anti-freeze chemicals.

If you have suffered from a winter-related injury, visit us at AFC Urgent Care Bound Brook for diagnosis and treatment. If you’re an employer and you need prompt treatment for an injured worker, we can handle a variety of employer services. To speak with one of our medical professionals, call us at 732-469-3627.

We look forward to helping you get through the winter!

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