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Opinion

Properly dressing for extreme weather conditions

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December 9, 2011

Happy winter everybody. River Falls now has had their first official, and potentially permanent, snowfall of the season. It’s cold, windy and of course with the ice, it’s definitely slippery. You may look around and see students and staff bundled up in winter jackets, hats, gloves and boots. However, that isn’t always the case.

After this past weekend’s snowfall, I got up Monday morning and started to make my way towards class and noticed something rather odd. Shorts. Yes, you heard me correctly; I saw not one, but TWO students meandering around campus in shorts and a sweatshirt. Although we are Midwesterners and we are used to the cold temperatures and the fluffy white snow, I do have to say that these temperatures are certainly not appropriate for shorts and sweatshirts.

Like a pervious column of mine stated about the oh-sodreadful common cold, for those risky shorts and sweatshirt wearers, it is highly likely you will come down with some form of illness.

Although I am not deliberately poking fun at those of you who choose this form of attire, I would just like to kindly inform you of the risks that go along with your decision.

For example, frostbite. This painful thermal injury can be caused by prolonged exposure to mildly cold temperatures and brief exposure to extremely cold temperatures.

I had a friend get frostbite on her ears one winter a few years back. Although I have never experienced it, after watching her go through it, I wouldn’t want to. Wearing protective layers against the cold temperatures will prevent the pain of frostbite from occurring.

Once again, to repeat myself from a previous column of mine; the common cold can also be quite problematic. Coughing, sneezing and difficulty breathing is never fun to deal with.

Not to mention colds always seem to creep up on you during the most inconvenient times. No one wants to be feeling under the weather right before or even during finals week.

If wearing layers is not your cup of tea, the least you could do is ditch the shorts and swap them out for a pair of pants. Maybe even throw some gloves and a hat on; some protection against the cold is better than nothing. The further we get into winter, the colder it will get and the more snow we will have. This may seem harsh, but I personally would not have much sympathy for you if you get sick due to the lack of protective clothing against the winter elements.

I know winter can be quite enjoyable to those who feel they are radiating heat boxes, but that doesn’t mean you should risk your health. Although the chances of you getting hypothermia is not very likely if you are taking a two minute walk to class, it can be very likely if you are out and about in frigid weather for an extended period of time. Do your body a favor and dress warmly for these next couple months of winter.

Samantha Mayberry is a junior and is majoring in journalism. She is from Rochester, Minn., and loves to read, listen to music and take pictures.