I awoke today to find it 10 degrees outside. While this has not prompted a warning from the National Weather Service, a few seconds of searching online yield the following tips from the City of Boston
Winter Activities & Sports
Don’t ski, ice skate, snowboard, or sled alone.
Make sure kids are wearing helmets when they are skiing, sledding, snowboarding, and playing ice hockey. Parents should also wear helmets – remember, your children learn safety habits by watching you.
Teach children to only sled on terrain that is free of obstacles. Make sure the bottom of the slope is far from streets and traffic. Always use a sled with a steering mechanism. Don’t lie flat while sledding downhill. Don’t overload a sled with children.
Skate only in areas that have been approved for skating. Teach children to skate in the same direction as the crowd to avoid collision. Avoid darting across the ice and never skate alone.
Enroll in at least one ski lesson. Use caution around lifts, control speed, and be aware of other skiers. Wear eye and sun protection. Ski helmets are recommended.
Spending Time Outdoors
Don’t stay out in the cold. If you have to stay out in the cold for work, be sure to take frequent breaks where it is warm.
Avoid getting wet. Moisture can speed the onset of hypothermia and can be very dangerous. If you expect to get wet, keep a dry set of clothing nearby – especially a hat, gloves, socks, and boots.
Drink non-caffeinated fluids. Dehydration occurs more quickly in cold, dry weather. Be sure to keep yourself well hydrated, especially if you are exerting yourself.
Frostbite & Hypothermia
Cover exposed skin and watch for frostbite. In extreme cold, frostbite can happen in under a minute. Wind only makes the risk greater – make sure to cover all exposed skin. The symptoms of frostbite include loss of feeling and white or pale appearance in extremities such as fingers, toes, ear lobes, and the tip of the nose. If symptoms are detected, get medical help immediately.
Watch for signs of hypothermia. These include uncontrollable shivering, memory loss, disorientation, incoherence, slurred speech, drowsiness, and apparent exhaustion. If you or someone you know shows any of these symptoms, get in touch with a healthcare provider immediately. If symptoms are severe, call 9-1-1.
If you suspect that a person is suffering from Hypothermia, don’t give hot drinks or hot food; raise the legs or place hot water bottles on feet; do not place the person in a hot shower or bath; do not give any alcohol or drugs; do not massage the arms or legs.
In an emergency, call a doctor, ambulance, rescue squad or local emergency room; handle the person very gently; protect the person from the cold with blankets, quilts, towels or extra clothes; ensure that the persons head and neck are covered.
Don’t drink alcohol. Alcohol can speed the onset and worsen the effects of hypothermia.
So, naturally we're heading out to camp
. It's our annual Klondike Derby (District-wide Scout Skills competition), and I expect to see upward of 200 scouts participating today and tomorrow, with a night in the woods in-between.
It's local, so there is good coverage - I hope to post some pics during the day on the book of face.