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Play It Safe: Tips for Preventing Cold-Weather Injuries

Many farm-related activities, such as feeding the cattle and plowing the farm yard, must be done no matter what the thermometer reads. That’s why it’s important for farmers to take special precautions, so the cold temperatures don’t take their toll.

To prevent injuries caused by cold weather, Farm Safety For Just Kids recommends:

  • Wear warm, loose-fitting, layered clothing, preferably wool.
  • Stay dry; wear water-repellent outer garments.
  • Wear mittens instead of gloves. Mittens allow your fingers to remain in contact with each other, enabling your hands to stay warmer.
  • Cover your head and ears. The head, neck and ears lose heat faster than any other part of the body.
  • Do not drink alcoholic beverages. Alcohol actually causes the body to lose heat more rapidly.
  • Watch for frostbite and other signs of hypothermia like numbness or disorientation.  

If you suspect frostbite or hypothermia, it’s important to:

  • Seek immediate shelter in a warm place.
  • Handle any frostbitten area gently. Don’t rub them!
  • Replace cold, wet and clothing with dry items.
  • Warm the body gradually, not by a stove or fire.
  • Contact your local emergency medical services for help with frostbite or hypothermia.

Farm children are at risk whether they are helping out with the chores or just enjoying the many adventures that might exist on a sunny, but bitterly cold day. Snowmobiling, sledding or just having a snowball fight with Grandpa may be dangerous.  Children may not be able to identify the signals of danger, so help them stay safe by monitoring their actions frequently. 

Winter can be a beautiful and fun time of the year to enjoy the farm if precautions are taken to prevent the cold from endangering those who are experiencing its glory.  Play it safe this winter! 

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