There are so many things we do without thinking about them. Many of these things our parents drummed into our minds that they become second nature and that’s good. We grab an umbrella or jacket as we go out the door because we can hear mom saying,“You will get sick if you go out in the rain.”
No, just because you get wet does not mean you will get sick, but wearing wet clothing in warm weather may make you uncomfortable until you dry out. However, if you get soaked, cannot change into dry clothes and are out in the cold, sleet or snow for any length of time, there are consequences and none are pleasant. Colds, flu, hypothermia and frostbite are all possible outcomes. Yet, all of these can be prevented when proper precautions are taken either before or after being exposed to the elements.
First off, dress appropriately – raincoat, rain hat, boots or waterproof shoes. Keeping an umbrella handy will assure that you stay dry even if you don’t have a raincoat or rain gear on. (I keep an umbrella by each house door and one in each car door.) However, there had been times when I’d gone to work and left my umbrella in the car because the sun was shining. At the end of the day, a storm had come up and I had to run to the car in the rain. I learned to keep an umbrella in my desk as well. If you do get soaked, get into dry clothing as soon as possible.
Children, though, tend to run out the door without anything so buying a colorful raincoat or slicker with a hood entices kids to wear their rain apparel. Boys usually think umbrellas are for “sissies”, but as adults both sexes will use them. For many it depends upon their occupation. Business people will wear raincoats and carry an umbrella while the outdoor workers will be in a slicker and some form of hat. Children learn by example. So, when they see their parents, older siblings and others dressing for the weather, they are more apt to grab their rain gear.
Another important thing about clothing, is to make sure that it is light or bright enough to be seen at night, or on dark rainy days. I do not like to drive in the rain or in the dark, and definitely not in the rain at night. Many times we hear about people getting hit by a car or truck because the driver couldn’t see them.
Last week in Asheville there was a homeless man walking at night, in the rain, wearing dark clothing. He was hit by a vehicle because the driver didn’t see him. Before someone could respond to the accident, a second vehicle hit him. They are not sure whether he was hit a third or a fourth time, but when the last driver went over him, he got lodged under their vehicle and was dragged five or six miles before they stopped because their car was “riding” strangely.
My husband and I walk in the evenings when it is cooler. We wear light colored clothing. We also wear shoes and wristbands with reflective tape and a blinking light on our belt. We live in a subdivision with streetlights as well.
One last precaution. Whenever you are in a swimming pool and it begins to rain, get out of the pool and go indoors. Whenever you hear thunder, whether you see dark clouds or not, find safety. Lightning has been known to strike as much as ten miles away without rain or clouds (it is known as “dry lightning.”)
Is there such a thing as being too cautious? I don’t think so. I want to live a long healthy life and that is my desire for you as well.