Tips on combating the winter season

A group of students are all walking across campus to get to their classes. They were trying to stay as warm as possible despite the cold.

As the anniversary of Birmingham’s Snowmageddon approaches we are all reminded that cold weather is serious business. Since Mother Nature has mercy on no man, woman or child, it is our responsibility to take the proper steps to ensure our own safety through the brutal winter. To assist my fellow students in combating the sometimes terrifying results of winter, I sat down with Registered Nurse Renata Burris to learn about the different effects winter weather can cause and how we can protect ourselves from the frigid hands of winter.

Why Prepare?

The winter months see the highest numbers of hospitalizations due to viruses, according the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The spike in cases of the flu and viruses is largely due to the conditions of the air in winter months. The dry, cool winter air makes it viable for germs to thrive.

Frostbite is a large contributor to hospitalization in the winter. Frostbite generally affects the nose, ears, cheeks, chin, fingers or toes, according to the CDC. It can occur at any temperature below normal body temperature depending on how long a person is outside.

How to Prepare?

There are a number of ways students can protect themselves from the cold temperatures plaguing this time of year.

The head is one of the most important places to keep warm because it loses heat at a faster rate than most parts of the body. So, grabbing your favorite beanie before you head out is a good idea.

The fingertips and toes are also important to keep warm because they too lose heat at a faster rate than the rest of the body. Investing in wool socks and touchscreen gloves so you can still text will make great accessories this season.