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Winter weather - Wind Chill

ShipMyRide's team put together some information that can be very important for you this winter season.

Looking at the temperature on our smart phones or on TV is one thing but the actual feeling on our skin and body on the outside can tell a different story. 

Besides the temperature you need to check the Wind Chill. The wind chill is how cold it actually feels on your skin when the cold wind is added to the low temperatures. On your mobile apps, or weather websites, they may refer to it as the "feels-like" temperature.

This phenomenon is caused because the wind actually strips away the thin layer of warm air above our skin. The stronger the wind, will result on a greater heat lost from our body, and the colder the sensation on our skin. When the winds are weaker or lighter, the temperature sensation will feel closer to the actual air temperature on our skin.


The dangers of Wind Chill in Canadian winter weather

Hypothermia 


The colder the wind chill with low temperatures, the risk for developing frostbite or hypothermia increases.

Hypothermia is when your core body temperature, normally around 98.6 degrees, drops below 95 degrees.

Frostbite

When body tissue freezes, such as your fingers, toes, ear lobes or the tip of your nose, it called Frostbite. This happens because your body is trying to protect vital organs, so your body cuts circulation to your extremities, including feet, hands and nose, which will eventually freeze.

In order to avoid frostbite, the best thing to do is stay inside when it is bitterly cold. If you have to be outside, you should cover every part of your body, including your ears, nose, toes and fingers. 
Also keep your skin dry and stay out of the wind when possible.

CAUTION: Caffeine constricts your blood vessels, which will prevent warming of your extremities. Alcohol reduces shivering, which your body does to keep you warm.

According to the NWS, there are four degrees of frostbite:

First degree: The skin's surface is frozen, known as frostnip.
Second degree: The skin may freeze and harden; blisters form in a day or two.
Third degree: Muscles, tendons, nerves and blood vessels freeze.
Fourth degree: Pain lasts for more than a few hours and skin may turn dark blue or black; gangrene is a real threat and will require amputation of extremities if it occurs.

Here is a Chart from the Weather Network (Canada) with more information on the temperature and windchill and the time it takes for our skin and body to be in danger.



ShipMyRide Team have put some tips together to prevent hypothermia and frostbite, and be safe this winter


Dress appropriately, with layers if necessary when going outside on extreme low temperatures.
Make sure you cover your ears, nose and hands when you are heading outside during the winter.
Avoid breezes and drafts indoors.
Eat nutritious food, drink plenty of water.
Wear a warm hat or hoodies that protect your head and ears in the winter.
Eat hot foods and drink warm drinks several times during the day, and avoid caffeine and alcoholic drinks.
Avoid going outside on extreme low temperatures for long periods of time. The best thing to do is stay inside when it is bitterly cold. 
When outside,  keep your skin dry and stay out of the wind when possible.

We want you and your family to be safe this winter.


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