240 Parsons - 2008

Contact Information Columbus Public Health
240 Parsons Avenue
Columbus, Ohio 43215
Phone: (614) 645-7417

Safety Tips Help Prevent Cold Weather-Related Injuries and Illness

Safety Tips Help Prevent Cold Weather-Related Injuries and Illness

You can Protect your Health and Improve your Life when the Thermometer Drops

Frigid temperatures are here – and extreme cold weather can be dangerous, especially to infants, the elderly, those with chronic health conditions and pets. 

Cold weather can cause hypothermia, frostbite and other health problems – but there are ways you can stay healthy and safe in extreme winter weather. 

Try to Stay Indoors. If you must go outdoors:

Make trips brief, dress in several layers of loose clothing and stay dry. Make sure to wear a warm hat and gloves or mittens.

Watch for Hypothermia:

  • Watch for signs of frostbite and hypothermia – slurred speech, confusion, uncontrollable shivering, stumbling, drowsiness and body temperature of less than 95° F. Get immediate medical attention if you think someone has frostbite or hypothermia.
  • Get out of wet clothes immediately and warm the core body temperature with a blanket and warm fluids. Avoid caffeinated and alcoholic beverages.

Avoid Carbon Monoxide Poisoning:

  • Use a fireplace, wood stove or other combustion heater only if they are properly vented to the outside. Ensure adequate ventilation if you must use a space heater. 
  • Never use an electric generator indoors, inside the garage, or near the air-intake of your house because of the risk of carbon monoxide poisoning. Never use a charcoal or gas grill inside – the fumes are deadly.
  • Install a smoke detector and battery operated carbon monoxide detector. Check them frequently and replace the batteries as needed.

Keep Emergency Supplies on Hand:

  • Stock blankets, matches, a first aid kit, flashlight, battery powered radio, extra batteries, non-electric can opener, prescription medication, food, water and, other special supplies such as diapers and pet food. 
  • Keep several days’ supply of non-cooking food items such as bread, peanut butter, dried fruits and bottled water (5 gallons per person) in case water pipes freeze or rupture.
  • Equip your car with supplies, including: cell phone and charger; blankets; first aid kit; collapsible shovel; flashlight and extra batteries; and, a windshield scraper.

Bring Pets Inside

  • If you have pets, bring them indoors. If you cannot bring them inside, provide adequate shelter to keep them warm and make sure they have access to unfrozen water. 

Other precautions:

  • Check on elderly family, friends and neighbors.
  • Make sure your car is properly maintained and prepared for winter. Check the antifreeze level and keep the gas tank near full to avoid ice in the tanks and fuel lines.