Cold Weather Precautions

by Press Release-Burlington County | Dec 11, 2005
Cold Weather Precautions The Burlington County Health Department reminds everyone to take precautions to prevent cold-related health problems during the current severe cold weather.

Freeholder Dawn Marie Addiego noted that, “Infants and the elderly are particularly at risk, but anyone can be affected. Infants lose more body heat than adults and cannot make enough body heat to keep them warm. Children less than one year of age should never sleep in a cold room. Provide them with warm clothing and a blanket to maintain a warm indoor temperature.” Older adults make less body heat because of slower metabolism and less activity. Older adults who are homebound or bed ridden should be checked often to ensure that their homes are properly heated.

Burlington County Health Officer Robert Gogats said, “When weather is extremely cold with high winds, people should try to stay indoors. If you must go outside, it is important to dress appropriately by wearing a hat, scarf or knit mask to cover your face and mouth, mittens (they are warmer than gloves), water resistant coat and shoes, and several layers of loose-fitting clothes.”

It is also important to eat nutritious, well-balanced meals that will help you stay warmer. Drink warm beverages such as hot chocolate, coffee and tea to help maintain your body temperature, Gogats added.

Winter is also a time when cars break down, and drivers should be prepared. If your car breaks down and you are stranded, often the safest choice is to stay in your car. You should move anything you need from the trunk into the passenger area of the car, wrap yourself in extra blankets or clothes, stay awake, and keep moving your arms and legs to improve circulation.

During the winter months a survival kit should be kept in your car, including cell phone and charger, blankets, first aid kit, matches, a windshield scraper, jumper cables, maps, some food and a flashlight.

Winter weather often brings ice and snow that can result in power outages. It is essential to prepared for such an emergency. Several days’ supply of food, water and medicine should be kept in an emergency kit. It is also important to have firewood for a fireplace, fuel for heaters, blankets, matches, flashlights and lamps, batteries, radio, clock, can opener and other essential items. If you must use alternate forms of heating, please use it in accordance with the manufacturer’s instructions.

“If you are going to be outdoors, be aware that cold weather puts an extra strain on your heart. So if you have to do heavy outdoor chores, such as shoveling snow, be sure to dress warmly, take it slowly and take breaks every 10-15 minutes. Remember your body is already working hard to keep you warm, so be careful about overdoing it,” Gogats said.

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Author: Press Release-Burlington County

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