Reminders for extremely cold weather
POLK COUNTY - With the extremely cold weather we have been having this winter the Polk County Health Department is issuing a special public health advisory to remind everyone of the dangers of severe cold, and safety tips to follow if you’re headed outside.
“With low temperatures and even moderate wind, common outdoor activities can quickly become life threatening, even for those appropriately dressed for the outdoors,” said Gretchen Sampson, Health Officer. “Exposed areas such as the nose and ears can freeze within 30 seconds with a wind chill factor of negative 30 degrees.”
The combination of bitterly cold temperatures and wind lead rapidly to life-threatening hypothermia, especially if a person is wet or damp. Hypothermia is a condition of abnormally low body temperature, and it occurs when your body begins to lose heat faster than it can be produced. Shivering is the first sign of hypothermia. Low body temperature affects the brain, and as hypothermia progresses, symptoms include lack of coordination, slurred speech, confusion and drowsiness. If you are outside and notice a person with any of these symptoms, immediately get them out of the elements and call for help.
People who participate in outdoor winter activities such as ice fishing, snowmobiling, or skiing should always be aware of the weather conditions and be properly dressed to protect themselves from the elements.
Other cold weather safety tips include: