Fun Hoodies and More Ways to Stay Safe in Freezing Cold Weather
Arctic air is currently swooshing all around the country, and even parts of the Deep South are due for blankets of snow this week. It’s the perfect time to brush up on cold weather survival skills. When going outdoors in icy weather for work or play, rule number one is to dress properly. Next, be aware of the people who are most at risk in frigid temperatures.
How to Dress for Being Outdoors in Freezing Temps
The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) prepared a cute infographic to provide helpful advice and warn people about some of the dangers of being in cold weather. When you get dressed, keep in mind that the following body parts are most affected by frostbite: Ears, toes, nose, cheeks, fingers, and chin. Wear the following items of clothing when you venture out into weather that’s perfect for Olaf*:
- A knit mask or scarf that covers your mouth and cheeks.
- Mittens (the best choice) or gloves.
- A warm hat.
- A coat with a water-resistant outer layer.
- Water-resistant boots.
- A few layers of clothing (details below).
3 Layers of Loose Clothing
You can’t put just any items of clothing on your body to properly layer-up for cold weather. Here are expert dressing tips for layered clothes:
- Your inner layer should be a moisture-wicking fabric that doesn’t absorb moisture but does hold more body heat. Recommended fabrics are: Silk, wool, and polypropylene. Note: Not cotton
- The insulation layer also helps to retain heat by keeping air near your body. Classic fleece, wool, and goose down are examples of natural fibers to use for the middle layer of clothing.
- The outer layer is your protection against snow, rain, and bitter cold wind. The material should be tightly woven, and it’s best if it is also wind- and water-resistant.
Your body will chill rapidly if your clothing gets wet. So, stay dry if at all possible.
Pay attention to whether or not you are shivering. This is the initial sign that your body has begun to lose heat. Go back indoors if you experience persistent shivering.
Beware of contact with alcohol or gasoline on your skin because these materials cause the body to significantly lose heat. This is an important note when you are doing things such as de-icing or adding fuel to your vehicle or operating a snow blower.
The most immediate threats in freezing weather are frostbite and hypothermia. Those who have the highest risk of developing these dangerous conditions include: Infants asleep in cold rooms; people who stay outdoors for an extended period, such as hunters and the homeless; older adults who lack adequate clothing, food, and heating; and individuals who use illicit drugs or consume alcohol in excess. Note that you don’t have to be outside to be at risk.
Maybe just stay inside?!?
Being inside is way better than being outside, when temperatures drop below freezing. If you stay indoors in extreme wintry weather, you can wear a fun, unique hoodie, and it can be one of your best layers. Instead of fighting the harsh elements, you could wear a This-is-my-Selfie-Shirt hoodie and try to get your best pic ever. Use safe practices indoors, too. That’s every bit as important as a moisture-wicking inner layer when you’re in the snow.
*Olaf, the funny, magical snowman from Disney’s Frozen