Prevention of Coldrelated Injury

Adequate nutrition and hydration are important general measures. Acclimatization, though not as pronounced as in heat, can help increase metabolism over a period of days to weeks. Warm fluid replacement is important in cold weather. Adequate nutrition is equally important given the increased metabolic cost of cold exposure even in the absence of exercise. Caloric requirements can be 25% to 50% higher in cold weather as compared to warm weather (33).

The mnemonic "C-O-L-D" can help remind people of what will help prevent cold-related injury. C is for cleanliness and care because clothing will tend to stay warmer when clean and dry. O is for overheating. Preventing overheating will keep down perspiration which can lead to dampness and further cooling. L is for layers and looseness. Clothing that is loose and in layers will create air spaces that hold body heat. It also can allow for removal of some clothing when appropriate to prevent overheating. D is for dampness. When clothing is wet, heat loss is increased (34).

Proper insulation is important in prevention, through the use of layers of loose clothing and waterproof outer gear to keep the clothing from becoming wet. Various materials that have insulation properties, yet are light in weight and relatively low bulk, are desirable for work in cold weather.

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