As I am writing this, it is a Friday in Mid February, the sun is out, it’s the middle of the afternoon, it looks beautiful…if you can avoid seeing a thermometer. At its peak today, the “feels like” temperature will be somewhere around a balmy 3 degrees!! The forecast for the upcoming weekend is at best more of the same, but also includes some colder weather. That said here are:
5 Tips for Feet and Shoes
during Extreme Cold Weather:
1. Wear good shoes – Be sure your shoes/boots are not only suitable for what you are doing, but also for the conditions you will or could encounter. Choose styles which are warm, breathable, and are waterproof, especially if snow is expected in addition to the sub-zero temperatures. Also keep in mind that no plans to have their car break down, or be stranded. When we have a forecast of several days of extremely cold weather, I put a backpack in my car with extra: gloves, hats, hooded sweatshirt, an older extra pair of boots, and an old pair of snow pants.
2. Layer appropriately – Don’t assume that wearing extra socks will keep your feet warmer. Layering socks can be too much of a good thing, especially if you tend to have sweaty feet(you know who you are!). Over layering your socks can cause your feet to overheat and sweat, which means you now have a wet sock, which can actually end up making your feet colder.
3. Keep your shoes and boots in the house – Many of us have been here: you are out shoveling snow, when your done you kick your boots off in the garage at the door to the house and leave them out there. But now what? You need to put your boots on to go out again, and there they are with an internal temperature of about 40 degrees, and that’s wear you are going to put your foot? You are already starting to drop the temperature in your feet, and you have not even put your coat on yet.
4. Be conscience of what you DON’T feel – As your feet are exposed to the cold you can lose sensation, resulting in an even higher risk for issues such as frostbite. Remember if you can’t feel your feet, you don’t know how cold they are!
5. Don’t BURN yourself – Wait, Burn? In extreme cold? Yes, it can happen! If you are out in the cold and lose the feeling in your feet(or hands) do NOT try to restore the feeling by using HOT water. If you can’t feel your feet, how will you know if the water is too hot and burning your skin? Use warm, not hot, water to slowly return the blood flow and feeling to your extremeties. If you cannot recover the color and or feeling in your hands do not wait to seek medical assistance, forstbite is no joke!!
We have got about 5-7 days of quite cold weather, for our area, ahead of us. and it is important to remember that kids and seniors can be impacted by the cold much quicker than a mid 30s active person. So if you have a family member, friend, or neighbor who falls into those categories, check in with them.
Be smart, be prepared, and be safe.