Stay Healthy by Avoiding these Winter Hazards

Stay Healthy by Avoiding these Winter Hazards

Monday, December 10, 2018

There are certain hazards associated with winter that can negatively affect your health. However, the following tips can keep you and your family safe throughout the colder months.

Maintain a Warm Home Environment

All heating sources should be properly installed, cleaned, and operated with the correct type of fuel. Speaking of fuel, avoid using gasoline in a kerosene heater. Otherwise, you could accidentally cause an explosion. Next, never use an oven or range as a home-heating source, do not burn paper, green wood, or pine branches. Finally, to minimize the effects of emergency situations, invest in a dry-chemical fire extinguisher.

Eliminate Everyday Hazards

Have your home inspected if it has been a while, then hire a professional to unblock rain gutters and repair leaks and cracks discovered throughout the home. Then, ensure that pipes are insulated and that faucets are turned on to drip during even short absences to prevent the pipes from freezing. It is also a good idea to install smoke alarms (if you do not already have them) and check them on a regular basis to verify that the batteries are working.

Dress for the Weather

Bundle up with several layers of thinner materials – children and elderly individuals should wear at least one more layer than healthy adults. For infants, prevent the risk of suffocating by dressing them in one-piece sleepers and wearable blankets. These are safer ways to keep babies and toddlers warm and comfortable.

Look for Signs of Frostbite and Hypothermia

Signs of frostbite include the loss of feeling in limbs and discolored (white or gray) or blistered fingers, toes, and earlobes. If you detect frostbite symptoms, seek help immediately. Then, while you are waiting, keep the person warm and apply warm (not hot) water to potentially frostbitten areas. Hypothermia symptoms include uncontrollable shivering, incoherence, disorientation, slurred speech, and memory loss. So, if you notice any of these signs in a friend or family member, call for medical attention. Next, while you are waiting for help, get the person to a warmer location and (if possible) replace their wet clothing with dry garments and encourage them to slowly sip water.

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