Health News

Posted on: December 16, 2016

Stay Safe and Take Steps to Protect Against Extreme Cold

As the region deals with bitter cold temperatures this week and for the coming months, the Norwalk Health Department and its partners throughout the city urge you to take these steps to stay warm and safe.

  1. Try not to spend a long time outdoors, and make sure your home heating system is working properly. Check on elderly neighbors and family members and make sure their homes are warm enough.

  2. Do not use ovens or stoves to heat your home. If you use space heaters, keep them clear of curtains and other flammable items and turn them off before going to sleep. Make sure you have working smoke and carbon monoxide alarms in your home.

  3. Public spaces such as libraries and retail stores can provide other places to get warm, if it’s safe to travel. The Norwalk Public Libraries and City Hall can be used as warming centers during daytime hours. The Norwalk Police Department community room will be available as a warming center at all times during cold weather emergencies. If you are unable to find a place to stay warm, call 2-1-1 to find a warm shelter near you.

  4. When you do need to be outside, wear multiple layers of clothing and cover your skin so that it is not exposed to the cold. If you have to be outside for more than a few minutes, take breaks to come back into a warm, dry shelter often. If you are shivering, that is a sign that the body is losing heat and you should return to shelter.

  5. Avoid alcohol and caffeinated beverages. They can cause your body to lose heat quickly and affect your body’s ability to regulate temperature. You can help your body become warm by dressing warmly, eating enough food, drinking plenty of liquids, and staying active.

Spending too much time in extreme cold without proper protection can cause serious conditions such as hypothermia and frostbite. Learn more about these serious conditions here.

For more information about staying safe in the cold weather, please see the following sources:

 

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