When the temperature drops, you run a higher risk of health problems and injuries. Here’s what you need to know to stay safe and healthy:
Cold, dry air can tighten airways and cause asthma attacks. Cover your mouth and nose to warm the air you’re inhaling. Talk to your doctor about controller medications and how they can help you stay well.
Staying in the cold for too long can lead to hypothermia, a dangerous drop in body temperature. Stay indoors when it’s cold and windy. If you have to go outside, keep warm with multiple layers of dry clothing, as well as a hat, mittens and scarf.
Extreme cold can cause frostbite, and in severe cases, a loss of limbs. People with heart disease and circulation problems are more likely to get frostbite, which affects the face, fingers and toes.
Plan your trips around the weather and find the safest way to get to where you need to go. Take your time and walk slowly — black ice and wet patches aren’t always visible. Rubber-soled boots and shoes give the most traction.
Seasonal affective disorder (SAD), or “winter blues,” usually happens during the winter months. Talk to your doctor about light therapy or prescription medication. Prevent or relieve SAD by getting the right amount of sleep, eating healthy meals, exercising daily and doing activities that make you happy.