With single-digit temperature highs forecasted for several days in the next two weeks, it’s important to take precautions to avoid injury due to the cold.
“The most basic of all things is to avoid exposure in general. That means if you don’t need to go out in the cold, just don’t do it,” said Dr. Daryl Wilson, EMS Director at Edward Hospital.
But if you do have to go out, make sure to layer up, especially on areas that are more susceptible to cold.
“Try to keep your face covered, make sure you’re wearing appropriate gloves, appropriate footwear. Those are the areas that are most at risk because they have poor vascular support,” said Dr. Wilson. “One thing I have noticed from wearing a mask [to prevent COVID-19 transmission], is my face is much, much warmer. Add a scarf on top of that, and you’ve got a toasty face right there.”
The elderly and individuals with cardiovascular, neurovascular, or other conditions are more at-risk of injury. Check in on friends and neighbors in those categories to make sure they’re alright.
Extra Precautions to Take
Dr. Wilson also recommended taking extra precautions before traveling.
“Bring warm clothing, maybe extra clothes to have in case yours get wet. Make sure your car is fueled up so you don’t have issues with your car getting stranded. All those things that are preventative measures to keep you from having to risk exposure to the cold are things that people should take into account before they do anything outside.”
The City of Naperville also keeps a webpage with helpful information like how to keep pets safe in the cold, preparing your home and car for the extreme cold, and what symptoms to watch out for to avoid hypothermia.
“The first thing that you might notice if somebody has exposure to the cold, their hands are going to get painful and turn red,” said Dr. Wilson. “Severe effects of hypothermia can manifest in individuals having altered mental status, cardiac arrhythmias, and other untoward things that are very life-threatening.”
Avoid Burst Pipes
The city recommends keeping cabinets with water pipes open to allow warm air to circulate around the pipes and keep a faucet dripping to avoid pipes freezing or bursting. If you are away from your home, keep the heating on with the temperature set at least at 55 degrees.
Naperville News 17’s Casey Krajewski reports.
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