The weather forecast is calling for snow and it has been brutally cold lately, but that doesn’t stop our kids from running outside improperly dressed.
If you have kids or are a snow-enthusiast, hopefully you’ll have time to enjoy the white stuff. Plan on bundling up the kids and take them sledding while the snow is here.
The one thing we have to watch out for with the kids, and ourselves, is staying in the cold too long. It’s called hypothermia and there are some simple things to do or look for to keep you safe. Worse than that is frostbite when the blood flow has ceased and the tissue dies. Then they amputate the dead area. Not fun.
- The first thing I would do is convince your teenagers that waiting for the bus in a t-shirt or shorts is not cool, it’s stupid.
- Bluish color of the lips
- Shivering, which is your body actually trying to get warm
- Difficulty speaking, mumbling or teeth chattering
- Cold feet or hands, blood flow restricts itself to your internal organs to keep your heart alive. Your arms and legs are expendable when it comes to life or death.
- Your skin gets pale
- Face becomes puffy
- Confusion or anger
- Short breaths or slowed pulse
- We lose 90% of or heat by skin exposure. Bundle up.
If you are lost in the wilderness:
- Seek shelter
- Make a fire if possible
- Avoid alcohol or caffeine
- Remove wet clothes
- Hope for cell phone reception
- Always tell people where you are going before leaving
Mild hypothermia is a body temperature that is 90 – 95 degrees. Moderate hypothermia, 82 – 90 degrees, and severe hypothermia below 82 degrees.
Call 911 if you can’t get warm or experience these symptoms.
If you know a loved one who loses heat or keeps the temperature cool during the winter, they too are susceptible to hypothermia. Check on them, bring them blankets or invite them to stay with you until warmer weather prevails.
Enjoy the snow and be safe.
Dr. Jay M. Lipoff is the owner of Back At Your Best Chiropractic & Physical Therapy, LLC, which is located just past the Wawa on Rt 235 South, in the Anderson Building. Dr. Lipoff is also the author of “Back At Your Best; Balancing the Demands of Life With the Needs of Your Body.” It is available in book and Kindle format at Amazon.
He received his Bachelor of Science degree from Syracuse University in 1990, a Doctorate of Chiropractic (D.C.) from New York Chiropractic College (NYCC) in 1994 and he became a Certified Fitness Trainer (CFT) in 2005.
Dr. Lipoff is an Executive Board Member, International Chiropractic Association Council on Fitness and Sports Health Science; won the 2015 Arnold Schwarzenegger Legacy Award for his community work; has a radio segment: Back At Your Best in 5 Minutes or Less, President and Founder; Foundation 4 Heroes, Contributing writer; The Baynet, Huffington Post and SoMD News, Co-Founder, Drug Free Training USA; Member, NY Strength-promoting the importance of physical conditioning; Board Member of Public Relations Committee, Maryland Chiropractic.