Take care in cold weather

Published 5:00 pm Tuesday, January 5, 2010

This weekend, Shelby County will see some of its coldest weather in years. While we encourage everyone to enjoy the snow and winter weather, we also ask you take care, especially with your very young, sick or elderly relatives.

Here are some tips from the Alabama Department of Public Health for making sure your family stays safe and happy throughout the cold temperatures.

-Dress warmly in layers of clothing and wear fabric that remains warm even when wet, such as wool.

-Wear wind- and water-proof clothing.

-Wear a warm hat and gloves. An unprotected head may lose up to half of the body’s heat production when the temperatures hit 40 degrees or lower.

-Find shelter if you get wet or cold.

-Do not drink alcohol while in the cold. It causes the body to lose heat faster.

-If you have very young or elderly relatives, their living quarters should be heated to at least 65 degrees, and they should wear suitable clothing, have plenty of warm blankets and eat nutritious food.

During cold weather, hypothermia is always a threat. Symptoms of hypothermia include: shivering, dizziness, numbness, weakness, impaired judgment, impaired vision and drowsiness.

If you think one of your relatives is suffering from hypothermia, call for medical help immediately. For more information, check out ema.alabama.gov.