How to stay safe in the deep chill

boston freeze health tips
On her way to work through Copley Square, Northeastern University student Alicja Zajkowski found that she could maintain her insulation by drinking her previously warm tea through a pocket in her scarf.
Pat Greenhouse / The Boston Globe

We’re having another day of sub-zero temperatures, and the chill is likely once again setting into your bones. The “real feel” temperature in Boston right now is—6° F, and you may be cursing the polar vortex that, quite frankly, you could have lived very happily without ever knowing that such a phenomenon existed.

But that arctic cyclone has spread its flailing tentacles throughout much of the country and will remain for another day or so. That means continuing to practice smart weather moves to protect yourself against these dangerously low temperatures.

If you’re heading outdoors to wait for the bus or “iced” T, bundle up and cover every inch of skin at all times. You could develop frostbite on exposed areas of skin within 30 minutes to an hour outdoors in these temperatures. (I’m glad my mom mailed me a pair of texting gloves last month, so I can use my phone outdoors on a day like today.)

Advertisement - Continue Reading Below

Putting a pair of mittens over those gloves can help keep your hands warm when your fingers aren’t in motion.

Pets, too, should be protected. Keep them indoors on a day like today, and take your dog for a five-minute walk to do his or her business, instead of a 20-minute one. While a dog’s fur usually provides ample protection, its feet are prone to cold injury, so owners might want to consider investing in a set of doggie boots.

Here are five common health mistakes to avoid when the mercury drops below freezing and try these safe snow shoveling tips if you’re still trying to dig out your car.