Stay Warm: Dress in Layers
During the winter months, temperatures can drop rapidly. As we saw in places like Texas this past month, no one should ever consider themselves completely safe. Instead, it pays to be prepared. To stay warm, it’s important to dress in layers.
What is Hypothermia?
Exposure to the cold can have a number of adverse effects on the human body. Many of us have probably learned about extreme conditions such as frostbite and frostnip. In fact, frostbite can cause permanent damage to exposed flesh and the muscle tissue beneath it. Beyond these, it is also crucial to avoid hypothermia.
What is hypothermia, you ask? Well, here’s a definition according to the Mayo Clinic:
Hypothermia is a medical emergency that occurs when your body loses heat faster than it can produce heat, causing a dangerously low body temperature. Normal body temperature is around 98.6 F (37 C). Hypothermia (hi-poe-THUR-me-uh) occurs as your body temperature falls below 95 F (35 C).
When your body temperature drops, your heart, nervous system and other organs can't work normally. Left untreated, hypothermia can lead to complete failure of your heart and respiratory system and eventually to death.
As you can see, hypothermia isn’t a laughing matter. It is often caused by exposure to cold weather or immersion in ice cold water. This is why, when the temperature drops, it is crucial to dress in layers and stay as warm as possible.
Dress in Layers to Keep Your Body Temperature at a Safe Level
Beyond all else, keeping warm requires a bit of planning. In general, always dress for temperatures that are 10-20 degrees colder than you expect. Moving around will warm you up.
To this end, dressing in layers can help tremendously.
Start with Long Underwear
For cold weather, warm, long thermal underwear is an excellent start. As a base layer, it’ll keep you warm and dry for hours. Don’t forget some nice warm wool socks!
The Mid Layer
A middle layer should be your basic outfit. Ultimately, this will be doing most of the work to keep you warm. Choose materials that are both insulated and water repellant. You want this layer to stay as dry as possible.
Don’t Forget a Coat
Next, put on a warm coat and scarf. When you dress in layers, the coat will be doing most of the heavy lifting against chilly winds and precipitation. Make sure to choose one that won’t absorb water.
Gloves, Scarves and Hats
Beyond the coat, you’ll want to avoid having any exposed skin. That’s where gloves, scarves and hats come in handy. A warm pair of water-wicking gloves will ward off the cold. A scarf keeps your neck from being exposed to the elements. Additionally, be sure to pick a hat that covers your sensitive ears. When it comes to winter activities, you’ll want to be as bundled up as possible.
Layers are Removable
Above all, it’s important to dress for success. No matter what, keeping kids warm during colder months can be a hassle. Thoughtful planning and quality clothing will keep a person – even kids – nice and toasty even in frigid temperatures. Of course, what if dressing for warmth leaves you too hot? Well that’s why we dress in layers. In case of overheating, these layers are easy to take off! But just play it smart and avoid overexposure. With a bit of planning, everyone should be safe and sound.