Since many youth activities revolve around being outdoors, every youth leader should be familiar with the risks of heat and cold exposure. Follow these guides to help keep youth safe on any outdoor activity.
Churches need to develop cold-weather policies that address concerns related to exposure to cold weather for students, church members, and staff. Advance planning is needed concerning outdoor activities, as well as the use of vehicles.
Church and youth leaders need to remain alert to three potential health risks that surface during cold weather: 1) overexertion, 2) frostbite, and 3) hypothermia.
Overexertion can occur in many ways. A common cause for this in the winter is shoveling snow. Breathing cold air causes some blood vessels to constrict. At the same time, the loss of body heat, combined with the strenuous physical activity, causes the heart to work harder as it must pump blood through more narrow arteries.