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Take Precautions During Cold Weather Months

Armen Hareyan's picture

Extreme temperature drops can pose serious health risks. Oakland County Health Division is urging people to take precautions against extreme cold during winter months.

Frostbite and hypothermia are serious conditions that can occur from cold exposure. In addition, dangerous levels of carbon monoxide can cause risks when alternative heating sources are used to warm homes.

"Infants and the elderly are particularly at risk, as are people with diabetes because of impaired circulation. Although anyone can be affected by cold weather if precautions are not taken," states George Miller, Manager/Health Officer, Oakland County Health Division.

Maintain Warm Homes

* Set the thermostat at 65 degrees Fahrenheit or higher, especially in homes where people over age 65 reside. Homes with infants or individuals age 75 or older should maintain inside temperatures of 70 degrees Fahrenheit.

Safe Heating

* Never operate a generator, grill, camp stove or similar device indoors.

* Adequately ventilate to the outside when using a non-electric space heater, wood stove or fireplace.

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* Never use a natural gas or propane stove/oven to heat a home.

* Use the proper fuel type for heating devices.

* Place space heaters far away from fire hazards such as drapes, furniture, or bedding. Never cover a space heater. Never place a space heater on furniture or near water.

* Run cords from electric space heaters under carpets/rugs or tape down to eliminate tripping hazards.

* Install a battery operated Carbon Monoxide detector in the home.

Dress Warm and Stay Dry

* Wear a hat or knit mask and scarf; sleeves that are snug at the wrist; mittens (they are warmer than gloves); and several layers of loose-fitting clothing.

* Dress infants less than one year old in warm clothes and blankets-even when indoors.

* Outer layers of clothing should be tightly woven, preferably wind resistant. Wool, silk, or polypropylene fabrics hold more body heat than cotton.

* Stay dry