Stay Warm and Healthy in the Snow

What is it about a snowstorm that brings out the child in all of us? Suddenly we’re ready to bundle up and head outside to play. Plus, snow is great for a mid-winter workout, what with all the sledding, skiing, snowboarding, and snowshoeing you can do. Whether you’re out in the weather shoveling your walk, driving, or just making snow angels, follow our tips below to keep safe and warm.

1. Apply a Vaseline shield. If it’s cold and windy, your face may suffer a case of windburn. A thin coating of Vaseline on exposed skin — particularly your cheeks, nose, chin, ears, and neck — will help prevent it.

2. Don’t walk with your hands in your pockets. It’s pretty basic advice, but this way, you can use your arms to regain your balance if you slip.

3. Buy a pair of Yaktrax. These amazing rubber and wire devices slip over the bottom of your boots and help prevent you from slipping on the ice. (Even see a yak slip and fall? We didn’t think so.) They are available at sporting goods stores and on the Internet.

4. Remember snow’s first cousin: ice. So wear rubber-soled boots with good traction, go slowly, don’t carry too many packages, and give yourself extra travel time to get wherever you’re going, whether that’s on foot or by car.

5. Look for patches of white or pale gray, waxy-textured skin. These are signs of frostbite. Get indoors and get immediate medical attention.

6. It might look silly, but pull large rubber dishwashing gloves over woolen gloves. This will keep your gloves dry whether you’re shoveling snow or making snowballs.

7. Make sure your boots aren’t too tight, either because they’re too small or because you’ve stuffed them with too many pairs of bulky socks. You won’t have enough blood circulating to your feet and they’ll get even colder. Wool or polypropylene socks are a good choice for your feet.

8. Smear on some sunscreen and lip balm if you’re out in the snow on sunny days. And slip on a pair of sunglasses or goggles to protect your eyes from the snow’s glare. A sunny day in winter is often brighter and more dangerous to your eyes than the same sun in summer, thanks to the reflection off ice and snow.

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