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Your 100 top tips to beat The Big Chill
4:44pm Wednesday 13th January 2010 in News
1 Wear several layers of clothing to create an insulating layer.
2 Avoid wearing denim under your trousers as they let in the cold as the material is not tightly woven.
3 Avoid wearing cotton, especially close to the body.
4 Try wearing a variety of materials as it will mean you can add or subtract clothes and make a smooth transition from outside to inside.
5 The most important layer of clothing during cold weather circumstances is the one closest to the body. Wear wool materials closest to the body.
6 Wrap up warm by wearing mittens, scarf and hat, preferably one that covers your ears.
7 It is best to wear mittens rather then gloves as the fingers are pushed together and helps keep them warm.
9 Wear waterproof, insulated boots to keep feet warm and dry and to maintain footing in ice and snow.
8 Wear a windproof or water resistent jacket to protect you from the elements. It should be worn loosely.
10 Wear thick socks. Avoid 100 per cent wool socks. Although they are warm, they are not water resistant so go for wool blend socks. A good place to look is sporting goods stores.
11 Take a spare set of clothes if you are a long way from home to avoid getting chilly.
12 Invest in some waterproof walking/hiking boots.
13 Alternatively, invest in shoes that have anti-slip rubber soles.
14 Avoid heels and shoes with smooth soles as they have no grip, and you are more likely to fall.
15 Take a spare pair of shoes if you need to change when you arrive at your destination.
16 Ensure you dry yourself thoroughly if it has been snowing/raining, to reduce the risk of catching a cold.
17 Carry an umbrella with you as it will protect you from snow and rain. Invest in a lightweight, collapsible umbrella that fits in your bag.
18 Take a small bag with you that inculdes tissues, lip protection, fold-up poncho and dry skin cream.
19 Sunglasses are also useful to keep in your bag as they can cut glare on snow and ice.
20 Wear slippers in the house as warm feet will make your body feel warm as well.
ON THE ROAD
21 Travel only if necessary and check weather warnings alongside the route.
22 Plan your route carefully before leaving, and ensure your destination is accessible by road.
23 Keep blankets and waterproof clothing in the vehicle for warmth in case of a breakdown.
24 Make sure the car battery is fully charged and operable before leaving.
25 Keep your fuel tank full in case of an emergency.
26 Keep the windscreen and windows clear. Keep an ice-scraper in your car, same with a cloth to ensure they are free of mist.
27 Try to ensure you can maintain a constant speed.
28 Keep an emergency supply of food and water.
29 When driving, ensure you have plenty of time to react to any situation.
30 Be aware of everything that is around you.
31 Ensure you slow down long before you reach a corner.
32Try to ensure you don’t have to brake suddenly.
33 Remain focused all the time you are at the wheel.
34 Keep an emergency road kit, including jumper cables, flares, torches, road hazard signs and appropriate tools.
35 As you set off from a standstill, do so in second gear, then ease your foot off the brake as it will limit the amount of wheel spin.
36 Drive in a higher gear as it will reduce wheel spin.
37 If you find yourself skidding, take your foot off the brake and then reapply.
38 Always keep your distance from the car in front. At least TEN SECONDS!
39 It is important you have a mobile phone on you, full battery if possible, in case you need to contact someone.
40 Let someone know where you are travelling, the route you will be taking and the rough time of arrival.
41 Let someone know if you are going to be late and keep in regular contact until you are home safe!
FOOD AND DRINK
42 Firstly, keep a stock of food from each of the five food groups in case you can’t make it to the shops.
43 To stay warm in cold weather conditions you need to eat plentiful amounts of hot and calorie-rich foods.
44 Butter, margarine and olive-oil add necessary fat and flavour to meals.
45. A hot bowl of instant soup is easy to prepare, warms you up quickly and helps you stay hydrated.
46 Dinners high in fat will keep you warm during the night and help you stay away from waking up from hunger.
47 Eat hotpots, casseroles or a vegetable stew as your main dinner as they contain a lot of warming foods.
48 Spice up your food! Cayenne, ginger, garlic, cinnamon, chilli and black pepper are seasonings with warming properties.
49 Try to eat one of each of the five main food groups every day.
50 Raw fruits and vegetables possess cold energy so cook them. They will generate body heat and help circulation.
51 Root vegetables and hearty greens will keep you warmer in the winter.
52 Ensure that you eat enough protein as it generates body heat. The RDA for protein is 0.8 g per kg of body weight per day. Proteins can be found in eggs, meat, seafood, cheese, lentils, beans, fish and chicken.
54 Try to eat foods that are high in fibre and low in salt and sugar.
55 Avoid drinking alcohol since it has a dehydrating effect and will cause you to lose body heat quickly.
56 Drink something hot like tea, coffee or hot chocolate to warm you up.
57 Take a flask with you when you go to bed in case you get cold in the night, plus it saves having to get out of bed.
58 Bring pets indoors. If not possible, provide adequate shelter and make sure that they are kept warm and have access to unfrozen water.
59 Young pets don’t adjust body temperature as well as adults, so bring them inside when it gets cold. Also, older pets and pets with illnesses are especially susceptible to the cold.
60 The first sign of hypothermia among pets is shivering, then respiratory depression, lethargy and weakness. The gums turn into a pale or blue tone and the pet experiences a lack of co-ordination and paralysis before collapsing.
61 If you suspect your pet is suffering from hypothermia, wrap the animal in a warm, dry blanket and get it to the veterinary clinic immediately.
62 The parts of the animal that are most likely to get frostbite include the ears, feet and tail. It is easy to miss under the fur, but if the condition persists the skin will begin to slough off. Immediate medical attention is crucial if you think your pet has frostbite.
63 As with humans, pets also need extra food during winter.
64 It is better to use a heavy plastic water bowl during the winter instead of a metal one. Metal loses heats quickly and hence the water will freeze faster. A heated bowl is best for animals outside.
65 Put a sweater on dogs with short or thin hair when walking them.
66 Clip the hair around the feet to prevent ice balls from forming around the feet or between the toes, which can cause pain.
68 Heat the home safely. Remember that all heaters need space. Keep things that can burn, such as paper, bedding or furniture, at least three feet away from heating equipment, fireplaces and stoves.
69 Never use the “on” stove or oven to heat your home.
70 Keeping the oven door open after cooking is another way to heat the home. Just ensure that it is off, and children or pets can not get to it.
71 Eliminate drafts using insulating tape to surround windows and door mouldings.
72 Put down a rug or carpet so heat loss is minimal.
73 Cover your windows with plastic sheeting. If you have storm windows or storm doors, get them up to keep the cold out.
74 Turn down the thermostat and close off any rooms that aren’t in use and close heat vents in those rooms.
75 Insulate your light switch and outlet plates with foam pads. Cold air can seep into the house through them.
76 While indoors, try to keep the room to at least 21C (70F) to prevent hypothermia, especially among the elderly and children.
77 Sleep warm with extra blankets and, if really cold, an extra layer of clothing.
78 Lighting a candle can produce a lot of heat. Just be careful where they are placed.
79 Exercising for 20 mintues, three times a day will keep you warm and blood circulating.
80 Take a shower or bath. When you get out, apply some lotion or body oil as it acts as a thin layer of clothing.
81 Ensure you are completely dry before stepping out of the shower otherwise, excess water will evaporate, therefore taking away heat.
82 If you have long hair, let it down. It helps to keep the neck and ears warm.
83 Don’t stand still for long, it will lower the body temperature and blood flow. KEEP MOVING!
84 Check on people who require special assistance such as elderly people living alone, people with disabilities and children.
85 Buy a pair of microwave-able hand warmers. Put them in the microwave for a couple of minutes and they generally stay warm for up to 10 minutes. Useful for when first stepping into the cold. Available online from eBay and Amazon!
86 Wear brightly coloured clothing, especially when it is dark so motorists can see you clearly.
WALKING ON ICE
87 Try to find an alternate route that is clearer, if not fully clear, of snow and ice. Walk along grassy edges where possible as it will provide some support.
88 Spreading your feet out slightly will increase your stability.
89 Arms extended to the side of you will help maintain balance.
90 If you fall, try to avoid landing on your knees, wrists or spine as these are very fragile parts of the body.
91 Although it may look childish, hold on to something, so if you should slip, at least you can maintain some control.
92 Avoid hills wherever possible as it is very hard to keep control while on a slope.
93 Stay as far away as possible from roads, especially main roads.
94 Wear a thick, bulky coat and/or layers as it will help cushion a fall to some degree.
95 Don’t talk on the phone or listen to music while walking as this will only distract you.
96 If you are unable to walk on the path, then walk on roads walking AGAINST the traffic and be very aware of all traffic around you. Children should always be assisted by an adult.
97 Only go sledging in the daylight.
98 Wrap up warm, including hat and gloves. RoSPA advises anyone who wants to undertake sledging to take safety precautions such as wearing a helmet and skateboard pads.
99 If you are making your own sledges, first of all seek adult guidance if you are a child, and consider the “what ifs” if you were to crash – are there sharp edges that you could cut yourself on?
100 Only sledge somewhere with deep snow and no obstructions like trees, fences and rocks. Stay clear of roads, pavements and water and make sure there is plenty of room for you to slow down and stop.