It may seem obvious but if you’re going somewhere cold you need to take appropriate clothing. Here are some tips on what to take and how to stay warm.
If you are exposed to the cold for too long or you get wet while outside you risk getting frostbite or hypothermia.
Frostbite can affect any part of your body but it’s most likely to affect your extremities such as your hands, feet, ears, nose and lips. It starts off feeling like pins and needles and the area affected then becomes cold, numb and white. If you remain exposed to the cold the frostbite will become increasingly severe.
Frostbite needs to be treated immediately by going into a warm environment and seeking medical help. The affected area will need to be warmed up which is often done by putting it in warm – but not hot – water. This can be very painful and you may need painkillers.
You can find out more about the causes of frostbite and how to treat it on the NHS Choices website.
Another risk is hypothermia which is caused by a dangerous drop in your body temperature. The early stages of hypothermia include shivering, cold and pale skin, slurred speech, fast breathing, tiredness and confusion. If your body temperature drops to 32C or lower, you’ll usually stop shivering completely and may pass out. Hypothermia can be life threatening and needs to be treated immediately. For more on the signs of hypothermia and what to do see the NHS Choices website.
If you’re travelling with children you’ll need to take extra care to ensure they stay warm and safe. Young children are less likely to realise when they are cold and they lose their body heat more quickly than adults because they are smaller.
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