Safety key to outdoor winter activities

Safety key to outdoor winter activities

JONESBORO, AR (KAIT) - Playtime on icy roads can end with a trip to the hospital.

St. Bernards Vice President of Medical Affairs Dr. Shane Speights said the icy conditions can lead to trouble whether it's frostbite,injuries or accidental hypothermia.

Speights said that happens when someone is outside for a long period time.

"Some of the signs are vague, but it's going to be fatigue, sick at your stomach, hunger and tiredness," said Speights.

The type of clothing you wear can also play a role in your exposure to the elements.

Dr. Speights recommends wearing layers of light clothing that are easy to take off or add more to if necessary.

He also recommends wearing cotton blend clothing instead of 100% cotton.

He said cotton is good for holding in moisture and that's not what you want if you sweat or you get wet in the ice.

Many kids have enjoyed sledding or other activities outside since school has been canceled, but a simple ride down a hill could end with injury.

"It can be really dangerous if you don't watch what's going on around them," said Speights. "You can end up with a concussion, a fracture in the skull and in some cases, bleeding of the brain."

Speights said similar injuries can happen when a child rides an ATV.

"Their center of gravity can change and they can actually flip over fairly easy," said Speights.

He recommends kids wear a helmet and be in open spaces without any obstruction that could injure them.

Children aren't the only ones faced with injury in icy conditions.

Dr. Speights said emergency rooms see an increase in wintertime visits due to falls on slippery surfaces.

A simple trip out to the mailbox could include a fall that can leave someone injured.

"We see a snowball effect that can happen with elderly individuals when they venture out on that," Speights said. "They fall, break their hip, end up in the hospital, and then all of a sudden they end up with some type of pneumonia because they've been laying on their back for so long. They can end up with blood clots in their legs and literally it can take months for this process to be over."

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