5 Cold-Weather Safety Essentials

    Don't slip on the ice! Here is how you can stay warmer, more comfortable and safer this winter

    Brrrr. Winter packs a cold hard truth: we are more susceptible to health and safety problems when exposed to frigid outdoor conditions.

    And there's a good reason: According to science, cold-weather diminishes human immune response. Slips and trips, frost bite and nip, hypothermia and heart attack &endash; the threat levels for these and other winter-borne maladies increase in cold-weather climes. In addition, worker absenteeism typically jumps by more than two-fold nationally during the winter months, according to U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

    For DIYers, outdoor enthusiasts and intrepid souls who choose to brave the elements, being forearmed is being forewarned. Here are five essential safety items that will help you stay warm and upright, comfortably active and well-preserved during the season.

    Extreme Weather Boots

    Keeping feet dry and warm is the first and final order of business, whether you're shoveling snow, working on a frozen surface or tramping through the muck. Muck Chore Boots are a favorite choice of footwear for those who want premium high-boot features (like optional steel toed protection, waterproof material and thermal comfort). Insulated Safety Gloves

    A stretchy, form-fitting, well-insulated glove allows you to perform manual tasks in severe winter conditions. Choose models recommended for extreme temperatures and have sand finishes on palm and fingertips for better gripping in wet or oily conditions. To protect hands during outdoor construction projects, try this on for size: a Honeywell North Polar glove with cowhide exterior and insulated lining and wide safety cuffs.

    Polar Goggles

    Polar goggles beat out standard safety glasses by offering fuller facial coverage and a tighter seal, a must when the wind bites. Anti-fog lens properties allow enhanced visibility and prevent condensation on the lens surface. Lighter colored lenses increase color contrast so you can see hills and dips on a snowy landscape allowing you to tread more safely.Balaclava Hood

    Hat or hood? Choose both, and for extreme protection get wrapped in a balaclava, or polar hood, which provides a good seal around the face to prevent cold from getting under your skin. Newer models have adjustable designs with zippers and foldaway visors for ventilation and better viewing, and earmuff side panels designed to reduce hazardous noise exposure.

    Cool Mist Humidifier

    Increasing the humidity in your home can provide relief from dry-air discomfort, allergic reactions, and may help ease the effect of winter colds, according to Mayo Clinic. As cold and flu cases spike during the cold months, you'll want a humidifier that provides cool mist and germ-free, quiet performance.