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Stay Safe In The Cold

Maryland is braced for a drastic drop in temperatures over the next two days.  This is a dangerous cold that we have not experienced in decades.  It is important to keep some basic winter safety tips in mind as your family deals with this bitter cold over the next few days:

Frostbite: Frostbite occurs when skin and its underlying tissue are exposed to very cold temperatures and freezing conditions.  Skin that appears waxy or hard and has a gray tone may have frostbite.  The damaged skin may also itch or burn and may turn red in color as the affected area thaws. 

The first step to treating frostbite is to get out of the cold.  Get inside to a warm place as soon as possible. 

Once inside, remove any wet clothing.  If you cannot get out of the cold, place your hands under your arms to warm them. 

Cover areas that can be most affected by frostbite (nose and ears) with a scarf and try not to walk if your feet may have frostbite, as this will make the condition worse.

Seek the treatment of a medical professional as soon as possible if you think you may have frostbite.

Walking on ice: Icy patches can be tough to spot.  The slips and falls that come with ice can be serious. 

If you come across a patch that you believe may be icy, tap the edge of the area with your foot to be sure.

Wear shoes with gripping soles to provide traction.

Keep your hands out of your pockets when walking in order to keep your balance on a slippery surface.

Don’t carry heavy items like shopping bags with you when walking on slippery surfaces.  This can change your center of balance, making you more likely to slip and fall. 

Stay Hydrated: Dehydration is common during the winter months.  Winter activities are just as strenuous as summer activities.  We also tend to wear layers of warm clothing during the winter  so our bodies work harder (by sweating) to cool us down.  Dehydration also makes you an easy target for colds and flu.

Drink before, during and after exercise or outdoor activities.

Water-based foods like soup, fruits and vegetables are a great source of hydration and nutrients.

Reduce the amount of sodium in your diet.

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

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