NEWS | Oct. 1, 2020

Soldier Support/Safety: Got Any Good Cold Weather Advice?

This article initially appeared in PS 804 (Nov 19), pp. 58-59. 

Dear Half-Mast,

A few issues ago, you offered some really helpful advice on how to avoid heat injuries. Now that the season has changed, do you have any wisdom to share on how to avoid cold weather injuries?

SGT K.B.

Sergeant,

Glad we could help you avoid heat injuries last summer, sergeant! Here are a few tips to help keep you safe from Old Man Winter. When it comes to cold weather clothing, 
remember the acronym: COLD: Clean: Always keep clothing clean. Overheating: Avoid getting too hot. Loose: Wear clothing loose and in layers Dry: Keep clothing as dry as possible. 

Remember the acronym: COLD: Clean, overheating, loose, dry
Remember the acronym COLD when it comes to avoiding cold weather injuries
  
Other tips include:
  • Change into dry clothing every day or if your clothing becomes wet.
  • Wash and dry your feet and change into dry socks as often as necessary.
  • Wear gloves to handle equipment and fuel products.
  • Use sunglasses with UV protection to protect your eyes from the sun’s glare reflecting off of snow.
  • Once the temperature falls below 32°F (0°C), don’t use skin camouflage. Instead of helping you hide, it might be hiding a cold weather injury.
  • Use Army-approved heaters in sleeping areas and post a fire guard to keep an eye on things.
  • Never sleep in an idling vehicle!
Seek help if you suffer from:
  • Red, darkened or painful skin.
  • Body parts that are numb, tingling, bleeding, blistered, swollen or waxy-looking.
  • Uncontrollable shivering, drowsiness, or lack of focus or coordination.
  • Dizziness, excessive yawning or cherry-red lips.
Get more information about cold weather injury prevention from the Army Public Health Center:
 

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