With the extreme cold blowing through the Chicago area this week, please consider the following safety tips:
* Avoid prolonged time outdoors. If you must, dress in layers. Cover any exposed areas of skin – including the face, neck, hands, etc.
* Know the risk, signs and symptoms of hypothermia
– Adults: Shivering, exhaustion, confusion, fumbling hands, memory loss, slurred speech and drowsiness.
– Children & Infants: Bright red, cold skin and very low energy.
* Know the risk, signs and symptoms of frostbite
– A white or grayish-yellow skin area
– Skin that feels unusually firm or waxy
– At the first sign of redness or pain in any skin area, get out of the cold or protect any exposed skin – frostbite may be beginning.
– A victim of frostbite is often unaware of frostbite until someone else points it out because the frozen tissues are numb.
If you experience of hypothermia or frostbite, seek immediate medical attention. Do not wait!
Other Safety Reminders:
* Have an emergency kit ready in your car – blankets, flashlights, water, snacks and jumper cables are a few of the essentials.
* Keep your cell phone on a full charge.
* Keep your car’s gas tank full or fill it when the gauge hits the ½ tank mark.
* Don’t overexert yourself while shoveling snow. Call 9-1-1 if you experience chest pain.
* Extreme cold is dangerous for pets too. Keep your pets indoors as much as possible.
Finally, consider the following safety tips when using supplemental heat sources such as space heaters:
* Ensure that all combustible items are kept away from the unit
* If using a kerosene heater, make sure it’s in a well-ventilated area.
* Do not run your stove or oven to generate heat
* Homes with high-efficiency furnaces should make sure the venting to the outside of the home is clear and not snow covered.
Bottom line, please extreme caution during these dangerous conditions and do everything that you can in order to keep yourself and your family safe.