Baby, It’s Cold Outside In Loudoun County

Okay, it’s not just cold outside in Loudoun County…it’s freezing. Temperatures are increasingly cold because of the wind chill. And while we all know how it feels when there’s a cold wind blowing do we really understand how to keep ourselves and our family safe?
Let’s begin with some basics:

• Wind chill
• Hypothermia
• Frostbite

What is wind chill?
The wind chill is an index that is based on the temperature your body feels when the wind speed is combined with the air temperature outside. Simply put, it is how cold it “feels” outside. You feel cold when you lose heat from your body, and as winds increase they take more and more heat away from your body, specifically exposed skin. This is why it is very important to limit skin exposure when temperatures drop, and to limit the amount of time you are outside. The longer you are outside in cold temperatures the more likely you are to develop hypothermia and frostbite.

What is hypothermia?
When you are exposed to cold temperatures your body begins to lose more heat than it can produce. Prolonged exposure can literally eat away at all of your body’s heat and stored energy. The result is hypothermia, or abnormally low body temperature. What makes hypothermia so dangerous is that it literally slows down the brain’s function and confuses motor coordination and thinking. So much so, that the person suffering from hypothermia may not even be aware what is happening. Of course, hypothermia is more likely to occur at very low temperatures but it can also happen at warmer temperatures, if your body becomes chilled from rain, submersion in cold water or even sweat.

What is frostbite?
Frostbite is an injury caused to the body by freezing. It is most likely to occur on fingers, toes, cheeks, nose and ears. Essentially, those area that are more likely to receive less blood flow, thereby becoming more vulnerable to freezing. When frostbite sets in, it can cause loss of feeling or color in the affected area. Frostbite can lead to permanent damage, and in severe cases, amputation. The risk of frostbite is increased if a person is not dressed properly for the cold weather, or has circulation problems.

Also, keep in mind that the time to develop frostbite increases expediently with lower temperatures. For instance, if it is negative 19 with the wind chill the average person will develop frostbite within 30 minutes. At negative 33, frostbite occurs in 10 minutes and at negative 48 you are only 5 minutes away from frostbite.

So how do you keep you and your family safe in this chilly Loudoun County winter?

Property Services Landscape of Lessburg Virginia would like to offer the following tips:
• Dress warmly; wear a hat, scarf, mittens and snow boots.
• Stay dry.
• Limit outside exposure time, and if you must be outside dress appropriately, and work slowly to avoid exertion.
• Avoid walking on, or driving on ice.
• If you are driving in freezing temperatures tell friends or family where you are going, and remember if you get stranded the safest place to stay is in your car.
• Keep your cell phone charged and with you at all times.

So yes, baby, it is cold outside in Loudoun County but with a little planning and information we can all make it through this chilly winter safely.

Property Services Landscape is owned and operated by Brian Wedemeyer, Leesburg native and serves the following towns: Leesburg, Ashburn, Aldie, Broadlands, Hillsboro, Lansdowne, Lincoln, Lovettsville, Middleburg, Philomont, Round Hill, Bluemont, Upperville, Purcellville, Hamilton, Waterford, and surrounding northern Virginia areas.

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