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Winter Safety Information
Winter Weather Terms
Preparedness for Schools
Ice & Snow, Take It Slow
Winter Safety Tips For The Home
Winter Safety Tips For For The Vehicle
Winter Safety Tips For Fire Safety
Winter Health & Safety Tips
Snow Emergency Classifications
Wind Chill Index
Flood Information and Safety Tips
Flood Insurance Information
Turn Around Don’t Drown®
Carbon Monoxide Information & Safety
Portable Generator Info
Winter's various dangers to people can occur suddenly like a heart attack while shoveling snow, or slow and stealthily like carbon monoxide poisoning. Hypothermia and frostbite are always a concern, especially for the elderly and for people with chronic health conditions. The Ohio Department of Health and the Ohio Department of Aging offer these safety tips to help keep you and your family safe this winter season.
Keep walkways around the home clear of snow and ice. Snow shoveling can cause serious injuries or death to people who are elderly, have chronic health problems or are not used to strenuous activity. If you are in one of these categories, you may want to use a snow blower or hire a snow removal service.
If you choose to do this heavy work yourself, remember that your body may tire quicker in the cold. Do not overextend yourself. Take short breaks in between shoveling. Exhaustion can make the body more susceptible to cold injuries.
Winter in Ohio can be unpredictable. Snow, sleet and icy roads and walkways can make getting around not only inconvenient, but dangerous. Use these simple precautions to decrease your risk of falling:
For additional information on preventing falls, visit:
Frostbite is one of the most common cold-related injuries. Frostbite is an injury to the body caused by freezing of skin tissue. Frostbite causes loss of feeling and color in the affected areas. It most often affects the nose, ears, cheeks, chin, fingers or toes. Frostbite can permanently damage the body and severe cases can lead to amputation. The risk of frostbite is increased in people with reduced blood circulation, those who drink alcoholic beverages, the elderly and people who are not dressed properly for extremely cold temperatures.
At the first signs of redness or pain in any skin area, get out of the cold or protect any exposed skin - frostbite may be beginning. The following signs may indicate frostbite: a white or grayish-yellow skin area; skin that feels usually firm or waxy; or numbness. A victim is often unaware of frostbite until someone else points it out because the frozen tissues are numb.
If you detect symptoms of frostbite, seek medical care. Because both frostbite and hypothermia result from exposure, first determine whether the victim also shows signs of hypothermia, as described above. Hypothermia is a more serious medical condition and requires emergency medical assistance.
If there is frostbite but no sign of hypothermia, and immediate medical care is not available, proceed as follows:
These steps are not substitutes for proper medical care. Hypothermia is a medical emergency and frostbite should be evaluated by a healthcare provider.
Taking preventive action is your best defense against having to deal with extreme cold-weather conditions. By preparing your home and car in advance for winter emergencies, and by observing safety precautions during times of extremely cold weather, you can reduce the risk of weather-related health problems.
As the weather turns cold, Ohioans look for ways to save on heating costs. The use of alternative heating sources such as portable heaters, fireplaces and wood stoves increases. Fire deaths and carbon monoxide (CO) poisoning are increased risks from using alternate heating sources. Home heating equipment is among the top causes of fires and CO poisoning. The Ohio Departments of Health and Aging suggest the following safety tips to prevent injury from CO poisoning and fire:
For additional information on winter health and safety, visit the following:
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Winter Weather
Ohio Department of Aging Emergency Preparedness