This time of year, many of us feel fortunate that we work inside. What about the people stuck working out in the freezing temperatures?
 
"We find people that have to work outside as a part of their living are generally well prepared for the cold: they know how to layer properly, that's one of the biggest things," noted EMS spokesman Stuart Brideaux. "They generally have more than adequate footwear, which is another big thing if people aren't wearing very warm, particularly insulated footwear, but often outside workers do have that."
 
It's the rest of us that emergency and medical personnel worry about, including children playing outside in the cold.
 
"Certainly, they have to be well bundled up with frequent breaks that you can get a little bit out of the cold or to make sure that they're not suffering from any early signs of frostbite: skin that has gone past red or is beginning to feel a little bit numb or skin that's starting to feel more of the effects of cold due to long exposure," Brideaux explained.
 
"The first thing is passive re-warming, getting out of that cold environment and removing any clothing that may be obscuring just how cold the affected area may be," he recommended. "Get to a situation where you can re-warm in not hot water, but warm water, or even using another warm hand or body part of someone else."
 
For travelers, Brideaux recommends carrying an emergency kit with candles, warm winter clothing, snacks and safety flares. He notes it can sometime take quite a while before roadside rescue arrives. If you become cold while shovelling snow, go back inside and warm up for a while before going back out again.
 

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