Region-News-Team-White-Logo

Extreme Cold Presents Health Risks, So Plan Ahead

Share this post

indiana state department of health
State Health Officials are recommending Hoosiers take steps to plan for the extreme cold as it is expected to be with us over the next several days. State Health Commissioner William VanNess, M.D. Is encouraging everyone to stay indoors as much as possible through next week and if you do go outside, please bundle up and wear a water-resistant coat and snow boots.
Hypothermia, which is the condition of having an abnormally low body temperature, occurs when a person’s body begins to lose heat faster than it can be produced. Prolonged exposure to the cold will ultimately use up a body’s stored energy. Body temperature that is too low affects the brain, making the victim unable to think clearly or move well.
Warning signs of hypothermia in adults include:
•       Shivering, exhaustion
•       Confusion, fumbling hands
•       Memory loss, slurred speech
•       Drowsiness
If you notice signs of hypothermia, take a person’s temperature. If his/her temperature is below 95 degrees Fahrenheit, seek medical attention immediately.
Signs of hypothermia in infants include bright red, cold skin and very low energy. Infants less than one year old should never sleep in a cold room because they lose body heat more easily than adults and unlike adults, they cannot make enough body heat by shivering. Adults age 65 and older may make less body heat because of slower metabolism and less physical activity. Hoosiers are encouraged to check on older adult neighbors and relatives.
Babies and older adults are especially vulnerable in these extremely cold temperatures. It’s important for these groups to stay in rooms with adequate heat.

Frostbite causes a loss of feeling and color in affected areas. It most often affects the nose, ears, cheeks, chin, fingers or toes.  Frostbite can permanently damage the body, and in severe cases, can lead to amputation. The risk of frostbite is increased in people with reduced blood circulation and among people who are not dressed properly for extremely cold temperatures.
Warning signs of frostbite include:
•       White or grayish-yellow skin
•       Skin that feels unusually firm or waxy
•       Numbness
At the first signs of redness or pain, get out of the cold. Seek care from a health care professional immediately if you detect symptoms of hypothermia or frostbite. 
For individuals who must go outdoors, Health officials recommend wearing the following items:
•       A hat or hood (as most heat is lost through the head)
•       A scarf or knit mask to cover face and mouth
•       Sleeves that are snug at the wrist
•       Mittens (they are warmer than gloves)
•       Water-resistant coat and boots
•       Several layers of loose-fitting clothing
Indoors, take precautions to ensure you are heating your home safely and that you have a working carbon monoxide detector.
For more information about winter weather safety, visit the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention at  http://www.bt.cdc.gov/disasters/winter/guide.asp.
Visit the Indiana State Department of Health’s website by visiting, www.StateHealth.in.gov.


Meet-The-Team-white

Laura-WXRD Scott-WXRD Brent-WXRD
LAURA WALUSZKO
Region News Team
SCOTT ROSENBERG
Region News Team
BRENT BROWN
Region News Team
Jay-WXRD Karl-WXRD Annie-WXRD
JAY STEVENS
Region News Team
KARL BERNER
Region News Team
ANNIE FOX
Region News Team

Recent-Newscast-white

Flash is not supported on this device. If you wish to listen to this audio, you must download and play an mp3 using an mp3 player on your device. CLICK HERE