Safety Tips for Extremely Cold Weather
With thanks to the Atlantic County Public Information Office and the ASPCA, here are some common sense tips for staying safe in these extremely cold temperatures...
A wind chill advisory is in effect in South Jersey through Wednesday for dangerous cold temperatures and wind chill values as low as -10 to -15 degrees, increasing the risk of hypothermia and frostbite with prolonged exposure. Residents are urged to limit time outdoors as much as possible as follow these tips:
Staying warm in cold weather:
Before you or your children step out into cold air, remember the advice that follows with the simple acronym COLD — cover, overexertion, layers, dry:
Cover. Wear a hat or other protective covering to prevent body heat from escaping from your head, face and neck. Cover your hands with mittens instead of gloves. Mittens are more effective than gloves because mittens keep your fingers in closer contact with one another.
Overexertion. Avoid activities that would cause you to sweat a lot. The combination of wet clothing and cold weather can cause you to lose body heat more quickly.
Layers. Wear loose fitting, layered, lightweight clothing. Outer clothing made of tightly woven, water-repellent material is best for wind protection. Wool, silk or polypropylene inner layers hold body heat better than cotton does.
Dry. Stay as dry as possible. Get out of wet clothing as soon as possible. Be especially careful to keep your hands and feet dry, as it's easy for snow to get into mittens and boots.
Keeping children safe outdoors:
The American Academy of Pediatrics suggests the following tips to help prevent hypothermia when children are outside in the winter:
Dress infants and young children in one more layer than an adult would wear in the same conditions.
Limit the amount of time children spend outside in the cold.
Have children come inside frequently to warm themselves.
Winter car safety:
Whenever you're traveling during bad weather, be sure someone knows where you're headed, and at what time you're expected to arrive. That way, if you get into trouble on your way, emergency responders will know where to look for your car. It's also a good idea to keep emergency supplies in your car in case you get stranded. Supplies may include several blankets, matches, candles, a first-aid kit, dry or canned food, and a can opener. Travel with a cellphone if possible. If you're stranded, put everything you need in the car with you, huddle together and stay covered. Run the car for 10 minutes each hour to warm it up. Make sure a window is slightly open and the exhaust pipe isn't covered with snow while the engine is running.
Preparing your pets for the cold:
We cannot forget our beloved furry friends in times of extreme cold weather. Despite having fur, they can be affected by the cold just as quickly as we can. Here are some great tips from the ASPCA:
DO NOT leave them outside. Even if they are normally outdoor pets, bring them inside. They will freeze to death in this cold. If you see an animal stuck outside, call the authorities immediately.
When walking your dog, keep them on a leash to prevent the dog from running away or getting lost. Scents are lost in the cold (and especially with snow on the ground) so dogs can easily lose their way.
Keep pet beds off the floor or away from doors and windows where cold air can settle or cold drafts can exist. Provide a warm blanket or pillow to keep them warm.
This should go without saying, but do not leave your pet in a vehicle during the extreme cold. Cold air can get trapped in a car like a freezer.