Winter is an exciting season for outdoor activities, such as sledding and skating. Intense cold can pose personal safety hazards and special precautions must be taken. Before going outside, please follow the following winter safety tips to reduce your risk of suffering from temperature-related health problems:
WINTER SAFETY TIPS FOR CHILDREN AND OLD PEOPLE
Older people and very young children should avoid being out for long.
During periods of very cold weather, invite your elderly friends and relatives to shop for them.
Inside, try to hold at least one heated room at a temperature of 20 degrees Celsius. Be careful when using a portable fireplace, stove or radiator to warm you up. Carbon monoxide poisoning and fires are real winter hazards.
Wear several layers of warm, dry clothing so you can adjust to changing conditions. Be sure to wear a warm hat that covers your ears and a pair of mittens or gloves that are not too tight. We lose up to 40% of our body heat through our head and hands.
Eat high-energy foods and hot drinks and soups.
- Avoid alcoholic beverages.
- Avoid fatigue and exhaustion in cold weather.
- Intense effort, such as shoveling snow or pushing a car, can overwork your heart.
- Cover exposed skin surfaces to protect them from frostbite. Warm-up affected areas gradually by wrapping them or placing them near a hot skin surface or in lukewarm water.
- Do not rub frozen skin.
- Recognize symptoms of hypothermia: mental confusion, dizziness, exhaustion, and severe chills. If you notice these symptoms, get immediate medical attention. Severe hypothermia can be fatal.
- Pay particular attention to slippery surfaces in winter.
Many injuries are caused by falls on ice-covered sidewalks, steps, and driveways. Clear these areas and use salt or sand on the ice.
Wear winter shoes with good soles, or cleats on your shoes and at the end of your cane. Postpone your outings and go on days when it’s particularly slippery.
When traveling by car, check the weather carefully and follow the travel advisory.
Have a winter survival kit in your car. This kit should include additional clothing, blankets, food, flares, chains, gloves, and first aid supplies. Keep the gas tank full and, as much as possible, avoid traveling alone.
General Winter Safety Tips for Children and Older People In Cold Weather
- Children shouldn’t play outside alone.
- Set up a matchmaking system with one or more friends who monitor each other.
- Children under the age of 8 should always be supervised when outdoors.
- Never send your child outside unattended in extreme weather conditions, such as snowstorms.
- Younger children should take frequent breaks and come in for something hot.
- Help your child choose playgrounds near a place where they can warm-up, such as their home or a friend’s.
- Outdoor activities in cold weather are a source of dehydration. Give your child a drink and give them a healthy snack when they return to play outside.
Clothes For Cold Weather- Winter Safety Tips
Playing outside or just going for a walk in the great outdoors is always enjoyable, but don’t prolong the fun unduly. Don’t forget to wear warm clothes and dress up in “onion peels.” Indeed, it is always more effective to wear several layers of thin clothing than a single thick garment under its coat.
In general, if your child’s feet and hands are warm, he or she is well dressed. If your child is too hot, he may sweat and get cold when he stops playing.
- Put several layers of clothing on your child, so they can remove or add them easily, if necessary.
- Put your infant more wrapped up if you pull him into a sled. Because it does not move, it cannot produce as much body heat as a child playing.
- Make them wear a hat because they lose most of their heat through the head.
Cover your ears at all times to prevent frostbite.
- Have them wear mittens instead of gloves, so that their fingers are grouped together and keep their warmth better.
- Make them wear warm, waterproof boots, big enough for them to put on an extra pair of stockings and move their toes.
- In the youngest children, remove the cords from the clothes, as they may get caught in the play structures. Prefer Velcro or snaps.
- Prefer a neck-to-neck with a scarf to prevent your child from strangling.
- After the game, have your child remove his wet boots and clothes immediately.
Winter Outdoor Activities- Safety Hazards and Winter Safety Tips
Snowstorms, blizzards, wind chill factors, extreme cold, and freezing rain are daily concerns in winter and the risks of hypothermia and frostbite are very real. Frostbite occurs when the skin, especially at the extremities of the body, freezes and suffers damage. To protect yourself:
- Dress warmly and cover your hands, face, nose, and ears as best you can;
- Choose your clothes based on changes in the weather during the day;
- Opt for tender, comfortable and waterproof winter boots. Non-slip cleats, which will help you keep your balance on snow and ice, are essential;
- Active games, like making angels in the snow and building snowmen, keep your kids warm. Teach your child some important rules to follow during winter games.
- Stay away from snowplows and snowblowers.
- Play in places far from roads, fences, and water.
- Be especially careful to cross the street, as drivers may have difficulty seeing you play when their windows are snowy or frosty. Icy roads can also prevent drivers from stopping as quickly as they would like.
- Never throw snowballs at people or cars.
- Snowballs are particularly dangerous if they are well packed or icy.
Snow Safety Rules- Winter Safety Tips
- You can throw them at safe targets, such as trees or telephone poles.
- Always build forts or tunnels under the supervision of an adult. The forts and tunnels may collapse and cause you to suffocate.
- Avoid playing on snowbanks at the edge of the streets. The driver of a snowplow or other vehicle may not see you.
- Do not put metal objects in your mouth. Your lips and tongue may stick to the metal, and you may injure yourself.
- Don’t eat snow. It can be dirty.
- Plan your travels and spend as little time outdoors as possible.
- Without proper planning and adapting to your driving, driving in the winter can be dangerous. First, winter tires will help you keep control of your vehicle on snow and ice.
- Each province has its own winter tire law. Find the one that applies to your area.
- Always plow your windshield, headlights, roof, and hood to get maximum visibility.
Sledding Tips and Safety Rules- Winter Safety Tips
- Children under the age of 5 should never go sledding alone.
- Always wear a ski or hockey helmet, but not a bicycle helmet, to the sled. Bicycle helmets have not been tested below -10oC (14oF), and must be replaced after a single fall. If you use a hockey helmet.
- Never use a sled with sharp edges or toothed edges. The handles must be strong.
- Use a sled that can be driven rather than a saucer or air chamber. He’ll be better able to control it.
- Always sit or kneel on the sled. When you lie down, you are more likely to injure your head, spine or stomach.
- Never sled on the street or near the street, but prefer gentle slopes devoid of trees, fences or other obstacles.
- Avoid sledding on busy slopes.
- Sled during the day. In the evening, make sure the slope is well lit.
- Avoid sleds mounted on skis (e.g., “three skis”) because they can reach dangerous speeds.
- Go down to the center of the slope and go up to the sides. Keep an eye on those who descend the slope and hurry to clear the track once the descent is complete.
Skating Tips and Safety Rules- Winter Safety Tips
Always wear a well-fitting, CSA-certified hockey helmet. Bicycle, ski and snowboard helmets are not suitable because they need to be replaced after a single accident.
Wear comfortable skates, which provide good ankle support, to avoid twists, strains or fractures.
- Skate on public rinks.
- Follow all warnings on or near the ice. Usually, yellow signage indicates careful skating and red signage, which is prohibited from skating.
- Never skate unsupervised.
- Never assume that there is no risk of skating on a lake or pond. An adult should ensure that the ice is at least 4 inches (10 cm) thick if the child skates alone, or 20 cm (8 inches) if skating in groups.
- Check with the local weather service to find out how thick the ice is.
- Do not walk on the ice near moving water. Ice forming on moving water, such as rivers and streams, may not be thick enough to be safe.
Skiing or Snowboarding Tips and Safety Rules- Winter Safety Tips
Children should take courses from a competent instructor. It should be remembered that child coordination is not fully developed until the age of 10.
- The maintenance and adjustment of the equipment must be checked annually. A competent technician must also check the bindings each year.
- Children should always wear a helmet with side ventilation holes to allow them to hear.
- Children should never wear headphones while skiing or snowboarding.
- They must wear wrist guards when snowboarding to reduce the risk of wrist injuries.
- The kids must wear ski goggles to protect their eyes from the sun and objects such as tree branches.
- Children should not ski or snowboard alone.
- Children should always control their speed while skiing or snowboarding. Many injuries result from loss of control. Waterfalls and fatigue can also lead to injury.
- Children should always avoid icy slopes. The risk of falls and injuries increases when conditions are icy.
- Children should check for other skiers and snowboarders and obstacles on the slopes.
- Children should stay on open ski slopes or on marked trails.
WINTER SAFETY TIPS FOR PEOPLE WORKING IN COLD WEATHER CONDITIONS
Winter weather conditions can pose a number of risks for employees performing outside activities.
First and foremost, too long exposure to low temperatures can lead to stiffening and, in the worst case, advanced hypothermia. Hypothermia in the first stage can be recognized by the following signals: chills, pale, cold skin, a faster heartbeat, and breathing. At a further stage, heart rate and breathing will just slow down. Other signals are confusion or even loss of consciousness.
In addition, the risk of accidents increases e.g. falls and slip. This can be done due to various causes, such as icing on the road surface or reduced visibility in the morning and evening. Moreover, thick clothing can cause poorer mobility.
Why Is The Freezing Cold Dangerous To The Heart?
The cold affects the body. When the mercury drops by 1 degree C, the risk of myocardial infarction increases by 2% within 4 weeks. How to avoid it? How do you protect yourself?
It is important to protect yourself from it. The cold affects the body. When the temperature drops, the heart works harder. Its oxygen consumption increases and its vessels contract, thus promoting blood clotting.
According to a study recently published in the British Medical Journal, a temperature reduction of 1 degree C increases the risk of myocardial infarction by 2% in the next 4 weeks and especially in the first 2 weeks.
When temperatures drop, either occasionally or over a long period of time, the whole organism is affected. It can damage the skin, cause frostbite and can lower body temperature by several degrees, putting health at risk (hypothermia). Health agencies also warn of the risk of carbon monoxide poisoning resulting from improper use of heaters or lack of ventilation in a closed room and the risk of falling. But few people know that cold is also very dangerous to the heart and arteries, especially in some people.
Every winter, the body needs to mobilize more energy to counteract the effects of cold and maintain body temperature. To do this, the heart starts beating faster, its oxygen consumption increases and the vessels contract, decrease in caliber, in order to redistribute the blood deeply to the vital organs (heart, brain, digestive tract). This is accompanied by an increase in blood pressure, heart rate and activity. In addition, the French Cardiology Federatedness states that “cold is also a source of dehydration, which reduces blood flow and requires more effort in the heart to function.”
Who are The People Most at Risk?
Those with cardiovascular diseases such as high blood pressure, heart failure, angina, coronary or arterial revascularization (stent, bypass…) or with a history of heart attack myocardia and stroke. People over the age of 70 are also more fragile, their bodies adapt less well to temperature changes.
How Do You Protect Yourself?
Cover warmly, especially the extremities of the body: head, hands, feet, nose, ears. Avoid making hard efforts in the cold, or even going out when the temperature drops below 5 degrees. As well as when there is an increase in pollution.
Finally, keep in mind that the combination of stress, tobacco, and cold greatly increases the risk of myocardial infarction. Be vigilant.
- Keep your skin dry.
- Make sure that shelters with a heating system (building sites, containers, etc.) are available to warm up.
- Wear moisture-draining clothing, headgear, earmuffs, gloves, warm socks, scarf and winter shoes.
- Change immediately if your (under)clothes are wet or interfere with your movements.
- Always carry hand warmers with you.
How To Prevent Frostbite at Work?
Are you working outside this winter? Be careful: to avoid certain problems such as frostbite measures are necessary!
Frostbite can occur when you are exposed to cold for long periods of time. You are at risk as soon as the temperature reaches 0 degrees Celsius or less. Proper clothing is often the key to success in working safely in the cold. But first, what is frostbite?
This is an injury caused by exposure to cold. The most commonly affected areas are the extremities, such as the fingers, toes, nose, and ears. One of the first signs of frostbite is a loss of sensation. The skin then becomes hard, white and waxy in appearance. In the most severe cases, it can become purple or black.
The severity of frostbite depends on how long it lasts to be exposed to cold. At the slightest numbness in a part of your body, don’t wait, go warm up!
Frostbite is caused by cold and humidity and mainly affects the hands and feet. It is a skin lesion that can be very painful but is safe as long as it is well treated. In case of complications, it is best to consult a doctor to treat frostbite.
How Do I Recognize Frostbite?
Frostbite occurs with cold associated with moisture, so mainly in winter, and affects the feet and hands, and rarer case, the face. They take the form of skin inflammation and crevices. Redness appears, then swelling of the affected limbs as well as feelings of burns and severe itching.
Frostbite primarily affects the feet and hands, sometimes the nose and ears, because, due to the narrowing of blood vessels due to cold, these are the parts of the body least irrigated in blood. They cool faster than the rest of the body and become a breeding ground for frostbite. Blood sent by the brain to warm the cooled limbs has difficulty passing through the narrowed vessels and eventually damages them. This is when the symptoms of frostbite appear.
How To Treat Frostbite?
Frostbite should be treated with care and above all not be exposed to a heat source suddenly. The first thing to do is to gently warm the part of the skin affected by frostbite by surrounding it with hot and moist organic cloth for about 10 minutes. Affected areas can also be immersed in 35-degree water plus two tablespoons per liter of oxygenated water. If the area is at the level of the hands, the hands can be warmed gently under the armpits.
Frostbite causes itching that can be very intense but it is important not to scratch so as not to cause sores on the skin, also known as ulcers. These itchings can be calmed by applying fat creams rich in vitamin A.
There is no treatment to really treat frostbite quickly. In any case, and especially if the pain is too intense and the lesions very extensive, a visit to the doctor is necessary. The latter may prescribe painkillers and medications to dilate blood vessels and thus help in the healing of frostbite. On the other hand, when the frostbite is deep, that is, the skin is white and insensitive, hospitalization is necessary to treat the lesion.
How To Avoid Frostbite?
Frostbite is caused by the cold associated with moisture. To protect yourself, it is necessary to wear appropriate gloves or socks that, on the one hand, insulate well from the cold and, on the other hand, keep these parts of the body warm. To avoid frostbite, especially at the feet, be careful not to wear socks or shoes that are too tight. Tablet feet are more sensitive to cold. The thickness, nature, and waterproofness of the soles of the shoes also play a major part in avoiding frostbite.
In order to prevent frostbite, especially for those most at risk, it is important to tone your circulatory system upstream. This is possible naturally by taking for example regularly, and before the cold period, alternating hot and cold baths. Preventive treatment with vitamins D or A can also help prevent frostbite in the most exposed subjects.
Risk Factors and Impacts of Frostbite
People with poor blood circulation are more likely to be exposed to frostbite, as are those with Raynaud’s syndrome. Taking certain medications may also promote frostbite. This is the case for vasoconstrictors, drugs designed to reduce the caliber of blood vessels, beta-blockers that slow down and strengthen contractions of the heart or certain antidepressants. Endocrine disorders, deficiencies in vitamins B1, PP, A or P, can also be areas for frostbite.
A person who has already suffered from frostbite one year is more likely to face this health problem again. It must, therefore, apply all prevention advice to the letter to avoid frostbite.
Tips to Prevent Frostbite- Winter Safety Tips
With a few simple tips you can prevent frost bumps and frosting:
- Wear clothing that is appropriate to the temperatures.
- Pay particular attention to a warm cap, warm gloves, and thick wool socks when staying outdoors longer.
- If you exercise in the fresh air, you should quickly go back to the warmth. This is because sweating causes evaporative cold on the skin.
- Protect your facial skin with a thick layer of fat cream or a special cold cream.
Working In a Cold Thermal Environment- Winter Safety Tips
Exposure to a cold thermal environment can cause localized frostbite at the extremities and potentially severe hypothermia. These include employees whose production process exposes them to the cold, those who work outdoors, in water or at altitude.
The characterization of thermal stresses involves metrology and the determination and interpretation of cold-related stress (IREQ index). Preventive measures are technical, organizational and individual. Information and training of employees are important as well as knowledge of emergency relief measures.
Severe thermal environments can severely affect workers’ health by subjecting them to heat stress. Particularly in severe cold environments, considerable intervention of the body’s thermoregulation system is required through vasoconstriction and shivering mechanisms, to limit the decrease in temperature of the various parts of the body and the nucleus they are characterized by low operating temperature values To (temperature of a uniform virtual environment and with black walls in which a generic subject exchanges, through convection and radiation, the same thermal power exchanged dis-uniformed environment through the same mechanisms).
In moderately cold environments, the Temperature is between 0 to 10 degrees Celsius, in severe cold Temperature is less than 0 degrees Celsius.
The mechanism of the thrill is activated when the amount of thermal energy transferred by the body is greater than that produced and its onset represents the limit beyond which the thermoregulation system is no longer able to guarantee homeotherm; This results in the cooling of the inner areas of the body and vital organs (hypothermia, with body core temperature of fewer than 35 degrees Celsius) with possibly lethal consequences, such as loss of consciousness until death by cardiac arrest.
Extremity pains are the warning signs of the danger of cold stress; Exposure to low temperatures of parts of the body can produce cold burns and freezing of tissues, with venous stasis up to gangrene.
Severe cold working environments are characterized by very low and uniform temperatures, which in certain production cycles serve to maintain over time substances that would otherwise degrade rapidly (food, drugs, etc.); in these cases, therefore, it is impossible to intervene on environmental parameters to mitigate the health effects, because the result would be incompatible with the use of cold.
The main method of controlling the negative effects of severe cold environments is, therefore clothing, as clothing reduces heat loss by insulation.
The health of the worker is closely related to the climatic conditions of the workplace. The lack of comfortable weather conditions causes discomfort or even unbearable cold that can cause a decrease in inefficiency. Cooling can pose a health hazard and an increased risk of accidents (e.g. decreased motor skills, lower concentration, etc.). Low atmospheric temperatures mainly affect the head, face, hands, and feet. Working in cold environments is mainly the hands that, due to reduced blood spraying, undergo a decrease in mobility, sensitivity, and dexterity. Similarly, a significant loss of heat and the feeling of cold are mainly perceived in the foot area. In addition, a significant drop in temperature can cause local frostbite while a long and long stay in the extreme cold can cause fatal hypothermia.
Winter safety tips: Some categories of people are particularly sensitive to exposure to cold. The risk must be detected individually:
- Pregnant women: they can only carry out dangerous or burdensome work if according to a risk assessment, there are no concrete threats to the health of the mother and child or if such threats can be overcome by appropriate protective measures.
- Cold work (below -5 degrees Celsius) falls into the category of dangerous or burdensome activities for which the usual protective measures (clothing, hot drinks) need to be taken;
- Performing heavy physical work (cold sweat training, muscle and joint diseases);
- Who suffer from induced asthma in the cold;
- People over the age of 55;
- People with heart disease, diabetes, hypertension, arthritis, rheumatism, kidney disorders, epilepsy and the like;
- Who suffer from insufficient blood spraying in their fingers (Raynaud’s syndrome) as a result of previous exposure to cold or who suffer from long exposure to vibrations (e.g. forest work with a chainsaw);(e.g. soothing, antidepressants);
- People who overuse tobacco or alcohol;
- Injured or injuries caused by cold; People with damaged skin (not respecting measures for skin protection, insufficient care of the skin);
- Who have suffered complex injuries (circulation disorders, including nerves);
- People who are heavily underweight should not perform tasks that require a long stay in (very) cold places.
The following technical, and organizational measures must be checked when carrying out cold work:
Technical Measures To Stay Safe In Cold Working Conditions- Winter Safety Tips
Predict local heating (infrared rays) and aeration systems that avoid the formation of air currents, turn off air during the phases of work in cold rooms, provide manageable and thermally isolated control tools, surfaces on which to sit and thermally insulated mats, provide handling vehicles with heated driver’s seat, cover the exterior surfaces (such as metal ones, which do not insulate from the cold), provide sufficient lighting for ensure safe work, provide auxiliary means to reduce strenuous work (to avoid excessive sweating), etc.
Prudence is recommended in the use of heat sources such as radiators: do not create too high-temperature differences (distortion of perception and thermal discomfort).
Organizational Measures To Stay Safe In Cold Working Conditions- Winter Safety Tips
Observe the minimum break times (to be calculated as working time) and spend them in thermally comfortable environments, offer the possibility of taking breaks when the worker feels the need, build appropriate rooms for the break, alternate the cold activities with others to be carried out in warmer premises, provide hot drinks, provide a body hygiene training (e.g. skin cleansing, food work, etc.), organize courses for new hires, let the employer cleaning protective clothing while washing thermal underwear (e.g. tank top) is the responsibility of the worker.
Avoid working for a long time in forced or static positions. Personal measures The employer must provide adequate clothing to protect against cold and adverse weather conditions in sufficient quantities.