Cold Weather Tips from The Columbus Public Health
Updated: Tuesday, January 22 2013, 07:07 PM EST
COLUMBUS -- The arctic blast invading Central Ohio is bringing with it this winters coldest temperatures. Columbus Public Health urges caution when temperatures turn frigid.
The forecast calls for extreme temperatures that could cause hypothermia, frostbite and other health problems, especially for infants, the elderly, pets, and people with chronic health conditions, says Health Commissioner Dr. Teresa Long. We can follow a few simple tips so we can stay healthy and safe no matter what the temperatures outside.
To stay healthy and safe in extreme temperatures:
Try to Stay Indoors. If you must go outdoors:
Make trips brief, dress in several layers of loose clothing and stay dry. Make sure to wear a warm hat and gloves or mittens.
Watch for Hypothermia:
Watch for signs of frostbite and hypothermia slurred speech, confusion, uncontrollable shivering, stumbling, drowsiness and body temperature of less than 95 F. Get immediate medical attention if you think someone has frostbite or hypothermia.
Warm the core body temperature with a blanket and warm fluids. Avoid caffeinated and alcoholic beverages.
Bring your Pets Inside:
If you have pets, bring them indoors. If you cannot bring them inside, provide adequate shelter to keep them warm and make sure they have access to unfrozen water.
Avoid Carbon Monoxide Poisoning:
Use a fireplace, wood stove or other combustion heater only if they are properly vented to the outside. Ensure adequate ventilation if you must use a space heater.
Never use an electric generator indoors, inside the garage, or near the air-intake of your house because of the risk of carbon monoxide poisoning. Never use a charcoal or gas grill inside the fumes are deadly.
Install a smoke detector and battery operated carbon monoxide detector. Check them frequently and replace the batteries as needed.
Keep Emergency Supplies on Hand:
Stock blankets, matches, a first aid kit, flashlight, battery powered radio, extra batteries, non-electric can opener, prescription medication, food, water and, other special supplies such as diapers and pet food.
Keep several days supply of non-cooking food items such as bread, peanut butter, dried fruits and bottled water (5 gallons per person) in case water pipes freeze or rupture.
Equip your car with supplies, including: cell phone and charger; blankets; first aid kit; collapsible shovel; flashlight and extra batteries; and, a windshield scraper.
Check on elderly relatives and neighbors:
Colder weather can put the elderly at higher risk for health problems and restrict them to their homes due to inclement weather. When frigid temperatures set in, be sure to check on elderly loved ones and neighbors to ensure that their home is adequately heated and that they have the necessary food and other items they need.
Web Producer: Kellie Hanna