Winter First Aid: What you need to know

Winter First Aid: What you need to know

Sarah McLoughlin
Posted by Sarah McLoughlin

Date: Thursday, 23 November 2017. -  
Blog, First Aid

With plummeting temperatures and the shorter days we are experiencing, it is safe to say that Winter is well and truly here. With common colds and viruses circulating this time of year, it is important to ensure you wear extra layers to keep warm during the colder months.

To help you prepare, we’re offering some winter first aid advice for you to consider when it comes to common hazards that can occur during the winter months.

Wrap up warm

Staying warm and maintaining body heat is essential during Winter to avoid getting hypothermia as the temperatures begin to drop.

If you are going outside, ensure you are wrapped up with several layers to protect you from the cold. Keeping your home warm during winter is also important and can be difficult although electric blankets and hot water bottles can keep you extra warm at night.

Hypothermia is one of the major dangers at this time of year, with the number of hypothermia deaths doubling recently over a five-year period. Signs of hypothermia include pale, cold skin, disorientation, shallow breathing and a weak pulse. You should call for help if you suspect someone is experiencing hypothermia and encourage them to carry out the following:

  1. Restore warmth slowly and get the victim indoors if they are not already
  2. Begin CPR if necessary
  3. Give the person a warm drink if they are conscious
  4. Keep their body temperature up

Walking on thin ice

Travelling can become difficult during Winter as ice and snow can be particularly hazardous. It is important to take extra care when walking outside in the Winter as footpaths can become very slippery. Ensuring you have sensible footwear with good grips will help prevent you from falling. Do take extra care when walking to avoid slipping over and injuring yourself.

Travel delays can be expected during Winter as a result of adverse weather conditions. It is extremely important to drive with care as roads can also become slippery. Your car should be stocked with a winter first aid kit that also includes blankets and food in the event of a break down happening. It is also a good idea to carry other winter driving essentials such as an ice scraper, winter screen wash, de-icer and a foil or cotton blanket.

Fight the cold

Cold weather can have an impact on your health, although there are a number of steps you can take to ensure you are fit and healthy during the Winter months to avoid getting sick. When the temperature drops to below 8 °C some people become at risk of:

  • Heart attack
  • Stroke
  • Pneumonia
  • Falls and injuries
  • Hypothermia

The cold weather can affect anyone but those who are most vulnerable include the elderly, young children, people with an existing health condition and those on a low income who may be unable to afford the excess heating costs. To protect your health during Winter, you can ensure to keep well with the following tips:

  • Enquire about getting the flu jab as a preventative measure but also take multivitamins
  • Have hot meals and drinks when possible
  • Stay active as it will help to maintain body heat
  • Scarfs, hats and gloves are essential for the cold as well as shoes with a good grip
  • Use lip balms and moisturisers as skin can become particularly dry during Winter

Remember to look after yourself during Winter but also anyone you know that could be particularly vulnerable including friends, relatives or elderly neighbours by ensuring they are well and have everything that they need.

Stay safe during Winter

Stay safe and well this Winter by ensuring you are prepared, take care when driving and wrap up warm when you go outside. It is also important that you are able to respond confidently to any incidents that can occur as a result of the weather conditions and factors during the Winter months.

Do you enjoy the festive season? Let us know your plans this Winter by tweeting us @imptraining and getting involved in the conversation.

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