Playing in the Snow with Sickle Cell

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So it’s winter and cold in most parts of the Western hemisphere. The winter often leaves many sickle cell warriors indoors, bundled up next to a warm heater. The cold often brings many warriors into a full blown crisis, no matter how much we bundle up and try to stay warm. I know that it can be tempting to go play in the snow, and many of us have tried it only to fall sick afterwards. As a result, we’ve become winter hermits.

That doesn’t have to be the case! You can go out in the snow and play you just have to protect yourself first. Here are some tips to keep you crisis free as you make those snow angels.

Hydrate. You do need to drink during the winter, because your body is ramping up to maintain your normal body temperature. As a result, you will need more fluids than you may think you need, so drink water if you plan to go outside to play.

Love your Layers: Layering is a secret that I wished someone had told me a very long time ago. The trick to layering is that you want to have breathable layers that aren’t too thick (so you aren’t too sweaty) and aren’t to thin (that won’t provide warmth). You may have to go through several types of layers to find the right combination. I will post what works from me and it may give you some inspiration.

Bottoms:

  • Silk long johns purchased from JCP or any department store OR
  • Wool long johns from H&M (these are my favorite when it’s uber cold outside).
  • Thick wool socks. You really need only 2-3 pairs of wool socks. They are the kind that cost $8-$15 bucks a pair that hikers wear going up the mountain. I find that my mini cold crisis start in my ankles when I’m not wearing those long thick wool socks.
  • Timberlands or Boots. Because everyone needs boots in the snow. Make sure you have a sturdy tread so you don’t slip and fall. Also, try to buy 1 size bigger because of the wool socks are thick.

Tops.

  • Silk undershirt (also from JCP). I like the ones with the long sleeves. You can wear a small camisole as well if you don’t have this, which a long sleeved shirt on top.
  • A small sweater, preferably 100% cashmere (so thin but oh so warm!)
  • A larger sweater (I love the wrap sweaters)
  • A thick, warm coat.
  • Mittens/gloves (A MUST)
  • A hat and scarf (Cover every inch of you!).

Okay…now you are ready to go out and play. [stextbox id=”custom”]Make sure you don’t stay out for too long.[/stextbox] I usually like to go out for about 20 minutes, come in, warm up, drink some hot cocoa and then maybe go out again. You don’t want to stay out there too long, remember moderation is key. Bundle up and have fun! See you out there!

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