I wish I had received this information back in December before we had our snow and ice storm. However, winter is not over, and we have a chance of more before spring is here. Cold can cause extra strain on your heart, and there is also hypothermia, frostbite and falls due to ice. There are things you can do during this weather to protect yourself.
TRICARE — a healthcare program for current and past U.S. military service members — reported on its website, “Cold weather can adversely affect the heart, especially if you have cardiovascular disease. Simply walking through heavy, wet snow can strain some people’s heart. The best way to avoid heart strain while doing outdoor activities is to work at a slower pace, and take frequent rest breaks.”
According to the American Heart Association, signs of overexertion and heart strain can include:
Avoid heart strain and overexertion this winter by:
When the body’s internal temperature decreases due to low temperatures, hypothermia can occur. TRICARE encourages preventing hypothermia by dressing in “warm, loose-fitting layers of clothing. Also make sure you wear a water-resistant coat to keep dry.”
Signs of hypothermia are:
“If you notice these warning signs, you should seek medical attention as soon as possible. If medical attention is not available, follow these tips to help restore warmth slowly:
According to TRICARE, “Frostbite occurs when a body part freezes, damaging the tissue. Fingers, toes, nose, cheeks, chin and ears are the areas most prone to frostbite. So, it’s important to cover these body parts with warm, dry clothing.”
The signs of frostbite include:
Tips to treat frostbite are:
Many cold-weather injuries result from falls on ice-covered sidewalks, steps, driveways and porches.
Ways you can prevent winter falls are:
Remember, the CPN Veterans Organization meets every month on the fourth Tuesday at 6 p.m. (or as soon as you can get there) in the North Reunion Hall on the Potawatomi Powwow Grounds. All CPN and spouse veterans and their families are welcome. A meal is provided.
Daryl Talbot, Commander
CPN VA Representative:
CPN Office Hours:
First and third Wednesday each month 8:30 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.