As frigid temperatures come roaring in, safety becomes a concern in Colorado. Exposure is a major risk and one capable of resulting in severe frostbite or worse.
Here are five tips for staying safe amid subzero winter temperatures:
1. Stay inside. This one sounds like common sense, but the safest place is generally inside when the temperatures drop below zero. A reliable structure gives you a first layer of protection against the elements.
2. Limit amount of exposed skin. Layering and wearing protective clothing is crucial when the temperature drops. Exposed skin can be subject to frostbite and can be a place where heat leaves the body. Stay warm by keeping skin covered. It's also worth noting that a hat can be especially important, as the head is a key place where body heat escapes.
3. Anticipate power outages and furnace failures. Know where extra blankets and layers are located to use in the event that the power goes out or the heater breaks. Always have a back-up plan and don't forget to stock up on extra batteries for handheld lights. Fire risk rises when alternative forms of heat are used – learn more about that here.
4. Stay hydrated. Falling into a state of dehydration can limit your body's ability to stay warm. Alcohol can be problematic in cold weather as it can limit body functionality and also make the cold less noticeable.
5. Avoid strenuous activity. If you must do something that's hard work in the frigid cold, make sure you're wearing a moisture wicking base layer that keeps cold sweat off the body. While it's important to avoid overexertion, it's also important to avoid taking too many long breaks in cold weather as sitting for long periods of time can limit circulation.
BONUS: Never forget to keep pets safe, too. If it's too cold for you outside, it's probably too cold for them, as well. When temperatures dip below zero, bring the dog inside.
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