In some parts of the country, the cold weather has hit hard, while in others, it’s a waiting game. And for those of you in hotter climates, please enjoy it!
Cold temperatures can bring on a host of dangers, including slips, falls, and a host of other accidents. But one, in particular, may be even sneakier.
Hypothermia is a serious threat to people with high blood pressure and high cholesterol or any other condition that can influence blood circulation. And it’s quite dangerous because it sneaks up on you. For example, you could be sweating buckets shoveling your driveway or walking the dog, remove your coat, and before you know it, you’re on the ground and freezing.
People with poor circulation have a high risk for hypothermia, which is when the body cools too fast and drops below 95 F. The thing is, it’s very hard to tell when it’s happening. The symptoms include drowsiness, confusion, slurred speech, lower pulse, and shallow breathes. It causes your brain to slow down too, which impacts your decision-making and motor skills. And it’s most dangerous when you think you’re hot and open your jacket or take your hat off, allowing body heat to escape even when you think you’re overheating.
Protecting yourself from hypothermia is a multi-step approach. The first is to always be prepared for cold temperatures: have easy access to blankets in your bedroom and home, as well as in your car. You never know when you might need one, especially overnight, if the power goes out or if your car stalls. Dress warmly in layers, and if you do remove one or open your coat, only do so for a limited time.
Being aware of any conditions that can influence risk is also an essential preventative tactic. As mentioned, circulatory issues play a factor, as does type-2 diabetes. So, if you’re feeling hot but the temperature indicates otherwise, be careful with how you proceed. Sometimes the best bet is to take a rest if you’re outside working hard.
The temperature can be a sneaky health threat for some. Knowing how to protect yourself from the frigid winter season could help you avoid some serious trouble.