January 27: Protecting Yourself from the Cold with Rose Melendez
Most days, we head to work and school without thinking much about it. However, with cold weather we’ve been experiencing lately, it is important to make sure we are keeping ourselves safe and warm.
- During winter months, it is especially important to protect your hands, head, and feet from the cold. You can do this by wearing layers for warmth and avoiding prolonged exposure to cold, wind, rain and snow.
- In colder temperatures, your body naturally generates heat by contracting muscles and shivering.Hypothermia occurs at cold temperatures, but can occur at 40 degrees Fahrenheit. Hypothermia is an emergency condition and can quickly lead to unconsciousness and death if heat loss continues. It is very important to know the symptoms of hypothermia and get treatment quickly.
Early symptoms include:
- Cold, pale, or blue-gray skin
- Lack of interest or concern (apathy)
- Poor judgment
- Mild unsteadiness in balance or walking
- Slurred speech
- Numb hands and fingers and problems performing tasks
Most healthy people with mild to moderate hypothermia recover completely without permanent injury. Recovery is harder for babies and older, ill, or inactive adults.
The Washington Adventist Hospital Emergency Department, Shady Grove Medical Center Emergency Department, and Adventist HealthCare Germantown Emergency Center, are staffed 24 hours a day, seven days a week to meet the emergency needs of our community.