It’s officially the winter season which means Americans across the nation are preparing for snow, sleet, freezing rain, and ice for the next three months.
As we know, frigid temperatures can be deadly and precautions should be taken both indoors and outdoors during the season.
Below are some tips from the U.S. Centers For Disease Control and Prevention on how to remain safe as temperatures drop.
WHEN STAYING INDOORS..
- Make sure any infants younger than one year old are not sleeping in cold rooms and have adequate warm clothing. (EX: footed pajamas, one-piece wearable blankets or sleep sacks)
- Remove any pillows or other soft bedding from a baby’s crib, since they pose the risk of smothering or sudden infant death syndrome.
- If you have friends or neighbors older than 65, check on them frequently to ensure that their homes are adequately heated.
- Leave water taps slightly open to prevent freezing pipes.
- Eat well-balanced meals to stay warm.
- Avoid alcohol and caffeine, because they can cause your body to lose heat more rapidly.
- Avoid using generators, gas or charcoal grills, camp stoves, or similar devices inside your home, in basements, in garages, or near windows as the fumes could be life-threatening.
- Using the stove for heat is not safe. Opt for extra blankets, sleeping bags, or coats. (A well-maintained fireplace or a portable space heater may be a safe alternative)
WHEN TRAVELING OUTDOORS..
- Dress warmly in hats, scarves, and mittens and by wearing layers.
- Avoid walking on ice and avoid getting wet.
- If you have to shovel snow or do other outdoor work, take your time and work slowly.
- If you have older neighbors, offer to help shovel their walkways or driveways.
- Avoid traveling on ice-covered roads if possible.
- If you are stranded outdoors, it is safest to stay in your vehicle.
- Try to keep pets indoors during cold weather, but if they go outside, thoroughly wipe their legs and underbelly free of snow when returning indoors.
- Never let your dog off leash on snow or ice.
Additionally, staying vigilant to your own personal health is important. Frostbite and hypothermia are both dangerous conditions and knowing the signs can be helpful in extreme cases.
Frostbite is a type of injury caused by freezing that leads to a loss of feeling and color in the areas it affects. It usually affects extremities such as the nose, ears, cheeks, chin, fingers, and toes and can permanently damage the body. In severe cases can lead to amputation.
If you notice redness or pain in any skin area, get out of the cold or protect any exposed skin.
Some of the signs of Frostbite include:
- A white or grayish-yellow skin area
- Skin that feels unusually firm or waxy
If you notice signs of frostbite on yourself or someone else, seek medical care. Check to see if the person is also showing signs of hypothermia.
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NOTE: A person who has frostbite may not know they have it until someone else points it out because the frozen parts of their body are numb.
Hypothermia is a more serious condition and requires emergency medical care. Hypothermia is caused by prolonged exposures to very cold temperatures which causes your body to lose heat faster than it’s produced.
Longer exposures will eventually use up your body’s stored energy, which leads to lower body temperature.
Those at risk of hypothermia include:
- Older adults with inadequate food, clothing, or heating
- Babies sleeping in cold bedrooms
- People who remain outdoors for long periods including homeless adults
- People who drink alcohol or use illicit drugs
Signs of hypothermia include:
- Exhaustion or feeling very tired
- Fumbling hands
- Memory loss
- Slurred speech
- bright red, cold skin
- very low energy
If you notice any of these signs, take the person’s temperature. If it is below 95° F, get medical attention immediately.
If you can’t get help immediately, here are some tips that can help the patient until help arrives:
- Get the person into a warm room or shelter
- Remove any wet clothing the person is wearing
- Warm the center of the person’s body—chest, neck, head, and groin—using an electric blanket, if available. You can also use skin-to-skin contact under loose, dry layers of blankets, clothing, towels, or sheets
- Warm drinks can help increase body temperature, but do not give alcoholic drinks. Do not try to give beverages to an unconscious person
- After body temperature has increased, keep the person dry and wrap their body, including their head and neck, in a warm blanket
For more tips on how to prepare for the winter weather season, click here.
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The post Winter Weather Guide: Tips For Staying Safe And Warm This Winter Season appeared first on 92 Q.
Winter Weather Guide: Tips For Staying Safe And Warm This Winter Season was originally published on 92q.com
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