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hypothermia

  • Welcome to Meteorological Winter! ?

    Here we are... while the first day of Calendar Winter (the Winter Solstice) isn't until December 21...just step outside.. Brrrr... it's Winter! Meteorological Winter began two days ago.

    What are some things you need to know to get safe and ready?

    Here are a few helpful articles to get you prepping!

    Winter-Cold

  • This is Cute - Prepared Penguins: Tips for a Safe and Healthy Winter

    penguin-dancingA little levity goes a long way. The Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC) has caught on with their Winter Cold Safety Campaign "Prepared Penguins: Tips for a Safe and Healthy Winter"

    As the temperatures get colder, make sure you know how to stay warm. Don’t get caught winging it! The CDC has cute penguins with winter preparedness tips to help you be safe and healthy this winter.

    Stay Chill around Ice

    Walking on ice is dangerous and can cause serious falls on driveways, steps, and porches. Use rock salt or sand to melt the ice on driveways and sidewalks.If walking on ice can’t be avoided, walk like a penguin! Bend your back slightly and point your feet out – this increases your center of gravity. Stay flat-footed and take small steps or even shuffle for more stability. Keep your arms out to your sides to help balance.

    Learn what else the Penguins have to say at the CDC
    Also read: HypothermiaTake these precautions outdoorsWorking in the Cold…Warm those TootsiesFrostbite: General Information, and Treating Frostbite

    Prep with the Penguins and be Winter Ready! Prep with the Penguins and be Winter Ready!
  • Working in the Cold...

    With the winter season starting, it's time to prepare your workers for cold working conditions and winter driving.

    • Did you know that salting ice loses its effectiveness at around 15 degrees F?
    • Or that it takes workers five to seven days to acclimatize to working outdoors in cold conditions?
    • Did you know that braking on ice-covered roads takes three to 12 times longer than if you were braking on a dry road?
    • Preparing your workers for winter weather conditions will help keep productivity high, and injuries low...

    Cold-WorkAccording to OSHA, anyone working in a cold environment may be at risk of cold stress. Some workers may be required to work outdoors in cold environments and for extended periods, for example, snow cleanup crews, sanitation workers, police officers and emergency response and recovery personnel, like firefighters, and emergency medical technicians. Cold stress can be encountered in these types of work environment. The following frequently asked questions will help workers understand what cold stress is, how it may affect their health and safety, and how it can be prevented.

    How cold is too cold?

    What constitutes extreme cold and its effects can vary across different areas of the country. In regions that are not used to winter weather, near freezing temperatures are considered "extreme cold." A cold environment forces the body to work harder to maintain its temperature. Whenever temperatures drop below normal and wind speed increases, heat can leave your body more rapidly.

    Wind chill is the temperature your body feels when air temperature and wind speed are combined. For example, when the air temperature is 40°F, and the wind speed is 35 mph, the effect on the exposed skin is as if the air temperature was 28°F.

    Cold stress occurs by driving down the skin temperature and eventually the internal body temperature (core temperature). This may lead to serious health problems, and may cause tissue damage, and possibly death.

    What are the risk factors that contribute to cold stress?

    Some of the risk factors that contribute to cold stress are:

    Wetness/dampness, dressing improperly, and exhaustion
    Predisposing health conditions such as hypertension, hypothyroidism, and diabetes
    Poor physical conditioning
    How does the body react to cold conditions?

    In a cold environment, most of the body's energy is used to keep the internal core temperature warm. Over time, the body will begin to shift blood flow from the extremities (hands, feet, arms, and legs) and outer skin to the core (chest and abdomen). This shift allows the exposed skin and the extremities to cool rapidly and increases the risk of frostbite and hypothermia. Combine this scenario with exposure to a wet environment, and trench foot may also be a problem.

  • Warm those Tootsies

    It is cold! We've shared with you about Frostbite & Hypothermia... Now how about some cozy comfort?

    hand_body_warmersAvoid chilly discomfort as well as the dangers of frostbite and hypothermia by having and using body warmers.  Air activated charcoal warmers are lightweight pouches containa mixture of iron powder, charcoal, salt, sawdust, and vermiculite. When exposed to the air, an oxidation process takes place that generates heat.

    These are ideal for pockets, gloves, and shoes; whether hiking in the wilds, commuting to work or school, playing in the yard, or sitting on cold bleachers at a  game!

  • Hypothermia

    Hypothermia results from heat loss or a decrease in the body’s heat production. It is a potentially life-threatening condition.

    • Stage 1 of hypothermia often begins with the casualty shivering. Shivering is a response by the body to generate heat. It does not occur if the body temperature drops below 90 degrees Fahrenheit.
    • Stage 2 of hypothermia is characterized by apathy and decreased muscle function.
    • Stage 3 of hypothermia is characterized by a decrease in responsiveness, a glassy stare, and possible freezing of extremities.
    • Stage 4 of hypothermia is indicated by decreased vital signs, including slow pulse and slow respiration.
    • Stage 5 of hypothermia is death.

    First Aid for Hypothermia:

    First Aid for hypothermia includes removing the casualty from the cold environment to prevent further heat loss. Remove any wet clothing and wrap the casualty in thick blankets. Heat packs may be placed on the chest, underarms, and groin. Warm the casualty gradually. If the casualty’s symptoms worsen or they do not respond to treatment, call 911 / EMS immediately.

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