Does your family take annual ski trips? Do you like to hit up the sledding hills or build a magnificent snowman after the first big snow of the season? What about winter hikes or runs through the neighborhood? No matter how you like to spend your time outside, winter is full of opportunities. However, you have to be careful when you venture out into the cold. The wrong equipment, too much exposure to the elements, or other unexpected hazards can have serious consequences. Whether you’re traveling far from home or staying in your own front yard, don’t forget these three safety tips for outdoor fun this winter.
Outdoor fun isn’t any fun when you’re wet and cold. That’s why you need to suit up with comfortable, durable clothing layers that keep you warm and dry as you work and play in the winter weather. A moisture-wicking base layer, insulating middle layers, and a waterproof and windproof outer layer work together to keep the elements out and your body heat in. When you layer up before you head out, you make sure you can stay comfortable and safe no matter where your outdoor fun takes you.
Use the Buddy System
You never know when a storm will hit, ice will break, or your directions will fail you. One of the best safety tips for outdoor fun this winter is to prepare for unexpected issues by heading outside with a friend. Having someone else with you when things go wrong makes it easier to get help or figure out a solution. This is a good safety tip for the entire year, but it becomes even more important during winter when extreme cold and weather can make even a small mistake dangerous.
Watch Out for Common Cold-Weather Hazards
While your outdoor fun might go off without a hitch, it’s still a good idea to learn more about common winter hazards. Snow, ice, and freezing temperatures add extra risk to your activities in the form of frostbite or hypothermia. Frostbite occurs when skin and extremities—such as your face, fingers, or toes—face exposure to severe cold and wind. It can cause soreness, blisters, or even dead tissue if you don’t address it quickly. That’s why it’s important to learn all you can about how to prevent frostbite before you head out into the cold this season.
Hypothermia occurs when your body temperature reaches abnormally low levels. It can cause fatigue and disorientation, but it can also lead to trouble breathing, heart failure, and other severe concerns if you ignore the issue. Learning about these and other warning signs of frostbite and hypothermia can help you catch the problem and find a solution before it gets worse.
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