There are many common health risks during the winter months. There are more slips, falls and accidents due to increased snow and ice, but the weather factors into many other risks such as dry skin, painful joints, frostbite, and even hypothermia. Those who spend a lot of their time indoors can still potentially be affected by dangers such as Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD), dry skin, asthma, the cold and flu, or even carbon monoxide poisoning. While not everyone is exposed to such risks during the winter, it is best to know about these health risks and how to prevent them.
Bundle Up To Prevent Frostbite
Freezing temperatures can cause frostbite in five to thirty minutes depending on temperature and preparation for the cold. During the first stage of frostbite, the skin turns a pale yellow or white and may itch, burn, or feel like pins and needles. In the second stage, the skin becomes hard, waxy or shiny, and when it begins to thaw, blisters filled with fluid or blood form. In the last stage of frostbite, the skin is tough, cold, darkens quickly, and may appear blue or black. Extreme cases can lead to amputation of the frostbitten area. Ways to avoid frostbite include layering clothes, wearing a hat and gloves, and unzipping to allow moisture out if clothing gets wet from snow, water, or sweat.
If frostbite doesn't sound pleasant, hypothermia is even worse. Most do not understand the full dangers of hypothermia. To get the full scope, read on.