Many cold injuries can be prevented by
protecting yourself when you are outdoors in cold weather.
emergency kit if you are going into the backcountry so
you are prepared for cold, wet, or windy weather conditions that might
Head for shelter that will protect you from wind and rain if
you get wet or cold.
Avoid doing too much activity and sweating.
Sweating increases heat loss through evaporation, so you will feel
Avoid touching metal, especially with wet hands, because it
will make you feel colder and may cause frostbite.
Eat plenty of food to help maintain your body
heat. Carry high-calorie foods, such as candy bars and trail mix, when going
out in cold weather.
Drink plenty of water. Carry extra water with
you and drink it hourly. Your urine should be clear, not yellow or orange. If
you are not urinating every 2 to 3 hours, you probably are not drinking enough
Interferes with your body's ability to
regulate body temperature.
Affects judgment. For example, a person
may not put on more clothing when it is needed if his or her judgment is
changed by alcohol.
Can cause blood vessels in your skin to dilate.
This increases heat loss.
Reduces your ability to sense cold
because it depresses the nervous system.
Do not use caffeine and do not smoke while in the
cold. Nicotine (from tobacco) and caffeine cause narrowing of the blood vessels
in the hands and feet. When blood vessels are narrowed, less blood flows to
these areas, causing the hands and feet to feel cold.
Keep your hands and feet dry. Wear mittens instead of
gloves. Wear socks that retain warmth and keep moisture away from your
Protect your eyes from cold and wind by wearing glasses or
goggles if you are planning outdoor activities.
Prevention measures for children
Children may not be
aware of cold temperatures. Parents need to understand the
ways in which the body loses heat and:
Limit the amount of time a child is out in
cold, wet, or windy weather.
Dress children appropriately for the
weather conditions. Remember C-O-L-D:
Cover your child's
head, neck, and face as much as possible since a lot of heat loss can occur in
these areas. These areas are also at risk for frostnip or
frostbite. Apply lip protection.
Overexertion (being too active) can cause your child to sweat
and chill more quickly. Sweating causes clothing to become damp and increases
Layers of clothing will keep your
child warm and protect your child best against wind and cold
Dry is key in preventing cold
injury. Keeping your child dry with waterproof clothing reduces heat
Keep close watch on your children's body heat
even in the summer when they are swimming in a lake or pool for a long
Teach children to avoid touching cold metal with bare hands
or licking extremely cold metal objects. Cold is transmitted more easily
through metal and increases the risk of a cold injury, such as frostbite. Also,
your child's tongue might stick to the cold metal and be difficult to