It might not technically be winter just yet, but it sure feels like it with the wintry mix of snow and ice that’s pelting western Pennsylvania. And doctors say it’s just that kind of weather that usually results in more people ending up at UPMC emergency departments.
- Don’t pile too much snow on the shovel when shoveling. Snow is heavy and lifting too much can put undue stress on your heart – not to mention your back.
- Drink plenty of fluids. Most would not think of dehydration during winter, but loss of fluids during exercise or play in cold conditions can accelerate hypothermia.
- Before exposure to freezing temperatures, bundle in warm, layered and loose-fitting clothing, making sure to protect the head, face, hands and feet. Be sure to stay dry since wet clothing or skin can increase your frostbite risk. If possible, go inside periodically to warm up.
- Avoid drinking alcohol before or during exposure to cold weather since alcohol may prevent you from realizing that your body is becoming too cold.