cold fans at game

If you plan to go to an outdoor sporting event this winter, our six tips will help you prepare to cheer for your team while staying warm and safe.

Check the Weather Before You Head Outside

  • You know it’s going to be cold, but how cold?
  • Is it going to rain or snow?
  • What’s the wind chill?

Watch your local weather forecast on TV or check the weather online. The weather forecast is usually for the whole week, so you can prepare in advance.

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Dress Appropriately

Now that you’ve checked the weather forecast, you can plan what to wear.

If you’re going to be out in the extreme cold, wear as many layers of warm clothing as possible. If it’s mildly cold, try to dress in just a few layers and pack an extra coat or sweater.

Items to help you stay warm might include:

  • Thermals (long underwear or long johns)
  • Long socks or leg warmers
  • Jackets, vests, and heavy sweaters
  • Gloves, scarves, and hats
  • Hand warmers for inside your gloves or mittens (these are inexpensive and sold at most sporting goods and department stores)

Be Prepared for All Conditions

If you’re standing in the bleachers and it suddenly starts to rain, you’re going to be in a tight spot. Keep an umbrella, poncho, or warm jacket with you.

Additionally, have an indoor, heated place that you can get to. You don’t want to be stuck outside if the weather becomes extreme.

Wear Waterproof Shoes or Boots with Good Grip

You will want to be safe and dry as you navigate icy, wet, or snowy terrain.

lf your feet are cold and wet, it won’t matter how well the rest of your body is bundled up, you will still be miserable!

Wear Gloves and/or Mittens and Long Thick Socks

These protect your hands and feet, which are the hardest places to keep warm blood flowing.

Try wearing thinner gloves underneath mittens, so when you need to do something precise with your fingers they don’t freeze.

Pack Warm Food

Sometimes all you need in chilly conditions is hot food or drink.

Carry a thermos with hot drinks, soup, or noodles. Warm food and drink will warm you inside and keep your strength and spirits up.

Signs and symptoms of hypothermia

Hypothermia is a dangerous condition caused when your body loses more heat than it can produce. It’s usually a result of exposure to very cold temperatures.

The signs and symptoms of hypothermia include:

  • Skin that is cold to the touch
  • Shivering at first, than absence of shivering
  • Lethargy, drowsiness
  • Weakness, clumsiness
  • Irritability, combativeness
  • Confusion, delirium, hallucinations
  • Slow reflexes
  • Seizure, stupor, or coma
  • Slowed, shallow, or arrested breathing
  • Slowed, irregular, or arrested heartbeat

Treatment for hypothermia

  • Get out of the cold.
  • Replace cold, wet clothing with warm, dry blankets.
  • Place heat packs under arms and on chest, neck, and groin.
  • Sit with knees tucked into chest.

Do not:

  • Directly apply heat to arms and legs. This may force cold blood back to the heart.
  • Rub skin to reheat.

About Sports Medicine

Sports bring with them a potential for injury. And if you are looking to prevent, treat, or rehabilitate a sports injury, UPMC Sports Medicine can help. We serve athletes from a wide variety of sports across every demographic: young or old, male or female, pro or amateur. We partner with the Pittsburgh Steelers, Pittsburgh Penguins, Pitt Panthers, and over 60 high school, college, and regional teams and events. We’re working to build better athletes. We use cutting-edge rehabilitation techniques to help you recover and provide education on how to prevent injuries.