Hot Tips for Extreme Cold
With unusually frigid temperatures settling over much of the country, new strategies for coping may be needed.
Review these tips to stay safe and comfortable in the bitter winter weather.
Stay indoors if you can.
Especially if you are older, or have arthritis or difficulty walking, try to rely on neighbors, friends or church family to help you secure groceries, meds and other necessities until the weather breaks. Many stores now offer delivery services – sometimes for free.
Be especially careful on snow-covered parking lots or sidewalks.
With temps staying so cold, snow that melts during the day can quickly re-freeze at night, creating black ice that is difficult to detect, or that may be covered by freshly fallen snow. Potholes in parking lots can also be disguised by snowfall. Try to park close to the cart storage area, and use the cart to help support and stabilize you if you are shopping.
If you do have to go out, wear protective clothing.
Multiple layers of clothing are best, as they trap air and help to keep your torso warm. Mittens are warmer than gloves for the hands, and hats and scarves help to conserve body heat as well. Particularly if you have a distance you must travel, be sure to wear the right gear just in case of a breakdown or you get stranded in inclement weather.
Minimize travel as much as you can.
Keep a full tank of gas in your car, so that if an emergency arises you can get on the road with minimal fuss. Keep extra clothing, a blanket and a few high-protein snack bars in the car just in case. Only travel if it is absolutely necessary.
Keep your pets indoors.
Animals are especially vulnerable to extreme cold, as they are typically much smaller than humans. High winds can carry heat away from an animal’s or a person’s body, and paws are susceptible to frostbite. Keep your pets indoors as much as you can, until the weather warms up.
Stay safe with auxiliary heat in your home.
Poorly operating or damaged heating units in your home can release carbon monoxide gas. Make sure carbon monoxide detectors are in place, and that battery-powered units have a full charge. Keep blankets and anything flammable away from space heaters, and do not use these units in a child’s or an elderly person’s bedroom.
If you do suffer a fall, or some other weather-related injury, be sure to seek medical attention immediately. Minor injuries that are left untreated can advance into more problematic conditions if not treated correctly and promptly. For any injury to the hand, wrist, fingers, elbow or upper extremity, contact Dr. Rehman right away.
Dr. Rehman is an orthopedic doctor specializing in upper body injuries and conditions. She will conduct a thorough evaluation and design a minimally-invasive, comprehensive plan to return you to full strength, mobility and range of motion. If you or someone you know is dealing with pain, numbness, tingling or stiffness in an upper body extremity, reach out to Dr. Rehman today!