Winter is Coming: Top 5 Tips for Health
Winter is now firmly upon us an we’re always aware of the changing considerations for any first aider. For one thing, cold weather can bring an extra time pressure to any casualty or injury; especially one outdoors. Here are five of our top tips for winter first aid.
Prepare for Cold Weather
Extra clothing in an outdoor first aid kit can also be supplemented with foil blankets, group shelters, and other equipment. As we know, a drop in core temperature can be very dangerous for any injured person.
The cold not only affects the body temperature but also the amount of fuel it requires. High-energy carbohydrate bars are a good addition to a kit, as they have a long sell-by date and give plenty of calories per bite.
Be a Bright Spark
It is not only the temperature that changes in Winter. It is also a much darker time and therefore carrying multiple sources of light is helpful. If you have access to them, head torches are very useful and they keep the hands of the first aider free whilst enabling them to work.
Checking when sundown is each day on your local weather forecast can also be a great help.
Insulate and Shelter
In any cold, wet, and windy environment you may find yourself needing to protect a casualty from the environment as the injured person may be out in the elements for quite a while.
It is easy to remember to cover the casualty, but also consider that you’ll need to place something under the casualty to insulate them from the ground itself, though the normal guidance about moving casualties applies.
Modify Your Checks
Layered outdoor clothing can also be a hinderance to any first aider, as it makes the primary survey and any additional checks difficult. Make sure to be extra diligent, and once you’ve carried out a primary survey get the casualty wrapped up further before continuing with a further (more time consuming) secondary survey.
If you’re reading this post, you’re likely already considering this! Though you may have already added to your equipment already as advised above, make sure to take time to review your kit and ensure everything is where it should be. It is far easier to do this in a prepared setting with full light and warm hands then out in the field should the worst happen.