Keeping It Warm & Safe
Winter is here and with the season comes many natural challenges to stay safe. Here are tips from A.J. Ferguson, Utah Farm Bureau, to help make this winter a safe winter wonderland for you and your family.
Keep Your Body Warm
· Eat well balanced meals
· Don't drink alcohol or caffeinated beverages - these will cause your body to lose heat more rapidly
· Wear a hat, scarf, and several layers of warm clothing
· Wear water resistant boots and coats
· Use gloves and mittens (mittens are warmer than gloves)
· Outer clothing should be made of closely knit materials or be wind resistant
· Cold weather will cause extra strain on the heart. Consult with your doctor if suffering from high blood pressure or heart disease.
· Work slowly in cold weather, the body is already working to stay warm
· Remember to consider wind chill
· Avoid walking on ice; many people are injured each winter because they slipped on ice
· Make sure family or friends know where you are during winter activities such as skiing, snowboarding, hiking, camping or working
Prepare your car for winter travel
· Check antifreeze level or consider having radiator system serviced
· Replace windshield-wiper fluid with a winter mixture
· Replace worn-out wiper blades to increase visibility
· Replace worn tires
· Check air pressure in tires
· Keep gas tank near full to avoid ice in the tank and fuel lines
· Keep a winter survival kit in your vehicle
Winter survival kit for your vehicle should include the following:
· First aid kit
· Water proof matches
· Windshield scraper
· Booster cables
· Sand bag or cat litter (to pour on ice or snow if extra traction is needed)
· Tow rope
· Tire chains (for heavy snow areas)
· Water and dried foods
· Flashlight with extra batteries
Winter safety for your car is not only having the items you might need in an emergency, but also about driving defensively to avoid sliding off the road or running into other vehicles. Here are some good safety tips:
· Slow down in the fog or other conditions that could cause poor visibility
· Reduce speed on icy, muddy or wet roads
· Give yourself plenty of time to reach your destination
· Be alert for animals crossing roads
Another important consideration is knowing how to recognize and treat frostbite. Frostbite is the freezing of the tissue or body part. Frostbite occurs when ice crystals form inside the skin, which can destroy the tissues, causing you to lose the skin or part of a finger, toe, etc. It most often effects toes, but can also affect the ears, nose, and fingers.
Frostbite symptoms include skin that is white, numb and has a "wooden" feel all the way through.
Treatment for frostbite
· Move person to warm area.
· Put effected body part in warm water (105 - 110 degrees F) until skin becomes flushed.
· Don't use hotter water or additional damage may be caused.
· Separate injured fingers or toes with sterile gauze to prevent sticking together
· If normal sensation doesn't return within 30 minutes, seek medical attention immediately