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By Arielle Myers

January 09, 2019

Naples, Fla.— The Florida Department of Health in Collier County (DOH-Collier) is reminding residents and visitors to stay healthy and safe this winter by taking precautions during cold weather.

It is important to take safety precautions during cold weather to prevent hypothermia, or abnormally low body temperature. Hypothermia is caused by prolonged exposures to cold temperatures, usually below 40 F°; however, it can also occur at temperatures above 40 F° when a person becomes cold from rain, sweat, or submersion in cold water. Individuals who are more susceptible to hypothermia include older adults that have inadequate clothing, food, or heating, infants sleeping in cold bedrooms, people who remain outdoors for long periods of time, and individuals who use illicit drugs or drink alcohol.

DOH-Collier recommends the following safety tips to stay healthy and safe during cold weather:

  • Stay indoors as much as possible. Check on family members, friends, and neighbors who are more vulnerable to cold weather hazards including older adults, young children, and individuals who are chronically ill.
  • When outdoors, wear proper clothing. Dress in multiple layers of loose-fitting clothing. Protect your head and hands by wearing a hat, scarf, and gloves.
  • Heat your home safety. Be extremely careful when using a fireplace, wood stove, or space heater. Never leave flames and fires unattended and keep them away from children and pets. Follow manufacturer’s instructions and ensure your appliance is correctly adjusted.
  • Prevent carbon monoxide (CO) poisoning by never using generators, grills, or other charcoal burning devices inside your home or garage. CO is odorless, colorless, and deadly. Install a CO detector to alert you of the presence of CO, and make sure to change the batteries as needed.
  • Eating well-balanced meals can help you stay warmer. Drink warm beverages, such as hot tea, to help maintain your body temperature. Consult with your doctor if you have any dietary restrictions.
  • Provide pets with a warm shelter out of the cold weather. Be cautious of animals that are displaced due to the cold weather. Never approach or touch a wild or feral animal including cats, bats, or raccoons, especially if they appear sick or injured as they could have rabies.

About the Florida Department of Health

The department, nationally accredited by the Public Health Accreditation Board, works to protect, promote and improve the health of all people in Florida through integrated state, county and community efforts.

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