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> Take Precautions During Severe Cold

 N E W S   R E L E A S E 

Your Partner for a Healthy Community
Frank Kruppa — Public Health Director


Friday, January 5, 2018

For more information contact:
Nina Saeli or Frank Kruppa at (607) 274-6600

Community Urged to Take Precautions During Severe Cold Due to the Wind Chill Warning

(TOMKINS COUNTY, N.Y.) — The Nation Weather Service has issued a wind chill warning for Central NY from Thursday, January 4, through early Sunday, January 7. Wind Chill is the term used to describe the rate of heat loss from the human body resulting from both low temperatures and wind. As winds increase, heat is carried away from the body at a faster rate, causing skin temperature and eventually internal body temperatures to drop. “People exposed to extreme cold are susceptible to frostbite in a matter of minutes”, stated Frank Kruppa, the Tompkins County Public Health Director. Areas most prone to frostbite are uncovered skin and the extremities, such as hands and feet. “Hypothermia is another threat during extreme cold”, Kruppa warns.

Click here for checklists to follow during severe or extreme cold weather

“It is important to check on our neighbors during these events.” Kruppa encourages, “Our seniors and young children are at significant risk”. A small child will lose heat faster than older children and adults. A senior adult may be dealing with other health issues that compromise their ability to hold their body heat. Pets are also at risk during these low temperatures. If you have pets, bring them inside. If you cannot bring them inside, provide adequate, warm shelter and unfrozen water to drink.

It is also important to stay safe when heating your home, especially during a power outage. Take precautions to avoid exposure to carbon monoxide any time a fossil fuel such as natural gas, oil, or coal is burned. Make sure that both smoke detectors and carbon monoxide detectors are in working order. Carbon monoxide is an odorless, colorless gas and is hard to detect. Common symptoms of carbon monoxide (CO) poisoning are headache, dizziness, weakness, upset stomach, vomiting, chest pain, confusion, and can lead to death. Do not ignore these symptoms, especially if more than one person is feeling them. Get medical help right away.

Frostbite. Frostbite is the freezing of skin and body tissue Frostbite occurs after prolonged exposure to a cold environment. Frostbite causes a loss of feeling and color in affected areas. It can permanently damage body parts if not promptly treated.