This is the VOA Special English Health Report.
weather can mean frostbite and hypothermia unless a person is prepared. Today
we talk about how to stay warm, dry and safe.
Frostbite is damage that happens when
skin is exposed to extreme cold for too long. It mainly happens on the hands,
feet, nose and ears.
People with minor cases of frostbite
that affect only the skin may not suffer any permanent damage. But if deeper
tissue is affected, a person is likely to feel pain every time the area gets
blood vessels are damaged, people can suffer an infection of gangrene.
Sometimes, doctors have to remove frostbitten areas like fingers and toes.
Hypothermia happens when the body cannot produce as
much heat as it releases. The condition comes on slowly. Signs of hypothermia include
uncontrollable shaking, very slow breathing and difficulty thinking clearly. If
not treated, hypothermia can be deadly.
avoid cold-related injuries, here is a simple way to remember four basic steps
to staying warm. Think of COLD -- C.O.L.D.
C stands for cover. Wear a hat and scarf to keep heat from escaping through the
head, neck and ears. And wear mittens instead of gloves. In gloves, the fingers
are separated, so the hands may not stay as warm.
O stands for overexertion. Avoid activities that will make you sweaty. Wet
clothes and cold weather are a bad mix.
L is for layers. Wearing loose, lightweight clothes,
one layer on top of another, is better than wearing a single heavy layer of
clothing. Also, make sure outerwear is made of material that is water resistant
and tightly knit.
you guess what the D in COLD stands for? D is for dry. In other words, stay as
dry as possible. Pay attention to the places where snow can enter, like the
tops of boots, the necks of coats and the wrist areas of mittens.
And here are two other
things to keep in mind, one for children and the other for adults. Eating snow
might be fun but it lowers the body's temperature. And drinking alcohol might
make a person feel warm. But what it really does is weaken the body's ability
to hold heat.
Next week: advice
from experts about what to do, and not to do, to help someone injured by
that's the VOA Special English Report, written by Caty Weaver. For more health
news, along with transcripts and MP3s of our reports, go to
voaspecialenglish.com. I'm Steve Ember.