Your body is designed to burn food for energy and produces heat from within. So, don’t forget to eat! If your body is getting cold, it will sacrifice your feet and hands to save its life. Ever wonder why your feet and hands are the first to get cold?! Your body loses heat in 5 ways – radiation, convection, conduction, respiration and evaporation.
- Radiation: Just as a wood stove radiates heat into a room, your body radiates heat into the air. The more insulation you put around it, the loss of heat is decreased.
- Convection is moving air. Wind blowing through your sweater or around your jacket is heat lost through convection. Windproof outer layers will help prevent heat loss.
- Sitting on some cold bleachers at a football game, grabbing a ski pole, or just catching a cold zipper on your neck, are all heat loss by conduction.
- Evaporation is a very efficient cooling process.
6 Tips for Staying Warm at a Sporting Event:
- Check weather conditions before heading outside. Watch your local weekly weather forecast to make it easy to prepare in advance.
- Dress appropriately. If you are going to be in the extreme cold, wear as many layers of warm clothing as possible. If it’s mildly cold, try to dress in just a few layers and pack an extra coat or sweater in case the temperature drops.
- Be prepared for all conditions. Keep an umbrella, poncho or warm jacket with you. Have an indoor, heated place to go… you don’t want to be stuck outside if the weather conditions become extreme.
- Wear waterproof shoes or boots with a good grip. If your feet are cold and wet, it won’t matter how well the rest of your body is bundled up. You will still be miserable!
- Wear gloves and/or mittens and long thick socks. These protect your hands and feet, which are the hardest places to keep warm blood flowing. Try wearing thinner gloves underneath heavier winter gloves for extra warmth.
- Pack warm food. Sometimes all you need in chilly conditions is hot food or drink. Carry a thermos with hot drinks, soups, or noodles. Warm food and drink will warm you inside and keep your strength up.
Signs and Symptoms of Hypothermia: shivering, shallow breathing, confusion, exhaustion, slurred speech, loss of coordination, weak pulse, unconsciousness (in severe cases)
Treatment of Hypothermia: remove any wet clothing, protect individual against the wind, move to a warm shelter as soon as possible, rewarm the individual with extra clothing, take the person’s temperature if a thermometer is available, offer warm liquids (avoid alcohol or caffeine).