How to Be Safe in Ice and Snow - Part 2
Take It Easy
Sometimes if you're out having fun, it's easy to forget to pay attention to your body. But if your body temperature drops even 4 or 5 degrees while you're outside, it can make you feel crummy.
That's why you need to be alert to your body's signals. If you're starting to shiver or your teeth are chattering, it's a message from your body that you need to head inside. And if you ever feel dizzy or weak, those are sure signs that you have to take it easy indoors for a while.
Keeping an eye on other kids can help make things safe. If it looks like a friend is shivering and really cold, suggest that you take a break inside together. You can both warm up while playing a game or watching TV and then head back outside for more fun.
Fight the Bite
If you're outside on a very cold day and you're not wearing enough protective clothing, you could be in danger of getting frostbite. Frostbite is when the body's tissues freeze, and it usually happens to skin that is exposed (like your face or your ears) or to parts of the body like your fingers or toes.
If you're playing it safe in the cold ”” by wearing heavy clothes, socks, and mittens, and by taking breaks inside when you think you need them ”” you probably won't have any problem with frostbite.
But if you're ever outside and you can't feel your fingers, toes, cheeks, ears, or nose, it may be a sign of frostbite. (Even if it's not frostbite, it's a sign that you should head inside anyway.) Sometimes frostbite can make these body parts hurt or feel hard when you touch them; it can also make the skin on these parts look glossy (shiny) or pale. If you think even for a second that you might have frostbite, go indoors and tell an adult right away.
Once you're inside, an adult should call your doctor. In the meantime, wiggle the part as much as you can ”” this will make more blood go to the area. If it's possible, hold the part against another area of your body that's warm ”” like holding your fingers on your stomach, for example.
Finally, if you ever think you have frostbite, never stick the frostbitten part in hot water or hold something hot against it. Putting the part in warm water is OK ”” just be sure you have an adult check the temperature first.
Keeping safe in the winter is easy to do, once you know how. You want your snow day and other cold days to be the most fun they can be, so put on those layers, wear your hat and gloves, have something warm to drink, and head out for the biggest snowball championship ever!
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