Cold Weather Tips
- The World Health Organization recommends keeping indoor temperatures between 64 and 75 degrees Fahrenheit for healthy people. The minimum temperature should be kept above 68 degrees Fahrenheit to protect the very young, the elderly, or people with health problems.
- Watch out for signs of hypothermia. Early signs of hypothermia in adults include shivering, confusion, memory loss, drowsiness, exhaustion and slurred speech. Infants who are suffering from hypothermia may appear to have very low energy and bright red, cold skin.
- When outside, take extra precautions to reduce the risk of hypothermia and frostbite. In high wind conditions, cold weather-related health problems are much more likely. Be sure the outer layer of clothing is tightly woven to reduce body-heat loss caused by wind. If you will be spending time outside, do not ignore shivering—it is an important first sign that the body is losing heat and a signal to quickly return indoors.
- Since cold weather puts an extra burden on the heart, if you have cardiac problems or high blood pressure, follow your doctor's orders about shoveling or performing any strenuous exercise outside. Even otherwise-healthy adults should remember that their bodies already are working overtime just to stay warm, and dress appropriately and work slowly when doing heavy outdoor chores.
- For more information, see NYS Department of Health Press Release on Cold Weather Advice
Hot Weather Tips
Summertime heat can be dangerous for anyone. Heat stroke can cause serious illness—even death. To stay safe during a heat wave, do the following:
- Use air conditioning to cool down or go to an air-conditioned building.
- If you don't have air conditioning in your home, open windows and shades on the shady side and close them on the sunny side to try to cool it down.
- Drink plenty of fluids but avoid alcohol, caffeine and sugary drinks.
- Beat the heat with cool showers and baths.
- Take regular breaks from physical activity.
- Avoid strenuous activity during the hottest part of the day (between 11 a.m. and 4 p.m.).
- Wear loose, lightweight, light-colored clothing to help keep cool.
- Stay out of the sun as much as possible.
- Wear sunscreen and a ventilated hat (e.g., straw or mesh) when in the sun, even if it is cloudy.
- Never leave children, pets or those with special needs in a parked car, even briefly. Temperatures in the car can become dangerous within a few minutes.
- Check on your neighbors, family and friends, especially those who are elderly or have special needs.
Wed, Mar 12, 2014