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Winter Weather Safety Tips

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Sounds like there will be plenty of shoveling and snow blowing during the winter months. Use caution when working outdoors. Heart attacks increase during the winter months due to what the weather does to your body internally. Heart attacks are more common in winter because cold temperatures can constrict heart vessels, When your heart vessels constrict, there’s reduced blood flow to the organ, which increases the risk of a heart attack. But it’s not just heart vessels: Cold weather causes all blood vessels to tighten in order to preserve core body temperature. That forces your blood pressure to rise, putting even more strain on your heart.

Another danger is hypothermia. This is when the body temperature falls to 95 degrees or lower. It happens when your body can’t produce enough energy to maintain a high enough temperature. This can lead to heart failure and death. As we age, our body’s ability to maintain a normal internal body temperature decreases. Because elderly people seem to be relatively insensitive to moderately cold conditions, they can suffer from hypothermia without even knowing it. Add in the high winds and that makes the situation even more dangerous. Wind removes that layer of heated air from around your body causing your body to work even harder to stay warm.

So stay indoors as much as possible during these conditions. When you do go out, layer your clothing. Be sure to wear warm footwear, gloves & a hat since you can lose a lot of heat through your feet, hands, and head. Also, ears are especially susceptible to frostbite. Clear the driveway in increments rather than all at once.