Hopefully spring is on it’s way, but all of this bitterly cold weather has me still thinking about dressing warmly! I’m going to share what I wear in these temperatures as well as some safety tips for playing outside with the kids (because we know it’s not good to be outside for very hat has been officially called the coldest month of February on record. Some days we’ve had a windchill of 30 below zero, with temps not reaching above zero for a few days in a row.
Of course, today it’s 30 and we are expecting some freezing rain tonight! Anyway, feel free to post this to Pinterest for next year’s cold weather reference!
When dealing with temperatures this low it is very important to cover as much skin as possible if you have to go outside at all. Some days we just have to get outside, even for 10 minutes, in order to get fresh air and a fresh outlook on being trapped indoors with each other!
Cold Weather Clothes
I regularly wear several layers ~ a shirt and sweater (sometimes with another sweater over it because I’m always cold) heavy-weight or flannel-lined jeans, and heavy socks. Sometimes I even add in my wrist warmers (or these fingerless gloves from Novae Clothing.) Then, when I go outside, I add another pair of socks and heavy waterproof boots, thoroughly insulated snow pants, a coat, mittens, a scarf and hat. This is not one of those times to make yourself look cute when going outside. Its time to look and be completely bundled up and safe. Sometimes that scarf even makes it over my nose so you can only see my eyes.
When my boys go outside I’m a little less cautious. I know that sounds horrible, but let me explain. When I go out to watch them play I’m doing just that. I’m watching them. I’m not climbing, sliding, running (or trying to). I’m just standing. They are moving their little bodies and creating heat. So they get dressed with two pair of socks, jeans tucked into those socks, a shirt, sweater and the usual winter coat, mittens and hat. Scarves don’t usually stay on my boys because they are so active, so they wear mask hats.
We check in every few minutes to make sure the mittens are still tucked into the coat sleeves and they can still feel their fingers and toes. When it’s below even fifteen degrees you need to stay diligent that your little guys are not getting frost-bite or hypothermia.
When all is said and done it probably takes us about 10 minutes to get properly bundled up to go out and play in this cold weather. If we are just going to the store it isn’t quite this extreme, although we do still make sure as little skin is showing as possible and we ditch the snow pants.
Hypothermia and Frost-bite symptoms
Knowing the symptoms of hypothermia and frost-bite is a good thing in this extreme weather. Do you know what hypothermia is? It’s when your body’s core temperature falls below what is required for your normal body functions. It’s much more severe than frost-bite.
Now, I’m not a doctor, just a blogger putting a few terms and lists of possible symptoms in your head so you can research further and use your own common sense.
Mild Hypothermia symptoms as defined by Mayo Clinic:
Shivering, dizziness, hunger, nausea, quicker breathing, trouble speaking, confusion, fatigue, lack of coordination and increased heart rate.
More severe symptoms:
Shivering (but as it worsens, the shivering stops), clumsiness, slurred speech, poor-decision making, low energy, weak pulse, slow breathing.
Hypothermia and Frost-Bite Care
So what should you do if you see someone with what may be hypothermia? Call 911 and move the person inside carefully and slowly, remove any wet clothing and cover them with blankets.
Frost-bite is caused by your skin and underlying tissues freezing. When your skin is just red and cold rewarm it. This is frost-nip and isn’t permanent skin damage. However, if the skin on your fingers, toes, nose, ears, cheeks and/or chin is very cold, red, hard and pale that might very well be frost-bite. If it is mild, rewarming your skin is in order. If it’s worse, get medical attention!
Be Safe in Cold Weather
When you know the proper way to dress (or the basics) for going outside in bitterly cold temperatures and put what you know into practice, you will be warmer and more prepared to get a few minutes of fresh air – even if it is just for shoveling your driveway, raking the snow off of your roof, watching your kiddos play and have fun, or walking to the end of your long drive to get the mail!
I’m really praying and hoping this cold weather is leaving our area and that we’ll be seeing green grass before too long, but old man winter has tricked us in March before!