As the weather gets colder, we face new hazards. When temperatures drop significantly below normal and as wind speeds increase, your body rapidly loses heat. The loss of body heat can cause severe health conditions. Knowing the signs and symptoms of these conditions is key in preventing serious injuries, or even death.
Frostbite is one of the most common cold weather related illness. It’s caused by freezing, and creates a loss of feeling and color in the affected areas. The nose, ears, cheeks, chin, fingers, or toes are most commonly affected by frostbite. The risk of frostbite increases in people with reduced blood circulation and those who are not dressed properly for the extremely cold temperatures.
The early stages of frostbite could include redness or pain in any area of the skin. As it progresses, signs of frostbite may include:
If you suspect frostbite, seek medical attention. If immediate medical care is unavailable, take the following steps:
Hypothermia, or abnormally low body temperature, is caused by prolonged exposure to cold temperatures. Body temperature that is too low affects the brain, making the victim unable to think clearly or move well.
Warning signs of hypothermia include:
If you notice someone showing any of these symptoms, take the person’s temperature. If it’s below 95ºF, immediately seek medial attention. If medical care is not available, begin warming the person doing the following:
With the proper preparation and training, you and your workers can minimize or eliminate injuries this winter season. If you have any questions about what cold weather products are right for your workers, call our Technical Support Reps at 800-631-1246, or email firstname.lastname@example.org. They’ll give you the information you need to make the right choice for you and your workers.