The following information was provided by the Emergency Care Center staff at Sturdy Memorial Hospital:
Dress properly for the weather. Make sure exposed skin is covered, especially in young children because their skin is more sensitive. Wear layers of clothing and a hat to keep your body insulated.
Learn the symptoms of hypothermia (shivering, exhaustion, drowsiness, confusion, fumbling, and slurred speech) and seek medical attention right away.
When it comes to driving, never drink and drive, always wear a seatbelt, and avoid traveling when the weather service has issued advisories. Service your automobile’s radiator and maintain antifreeze level. Check the tire tread or, if necessary, replace tires with all-weather or snow tires. Keep your gas tank full to avoid ice in the tank and fuel lines. Also, keep a winter emergency kit in your car should you become stranded, that includes blankets; food and water; booster cables, flares, tire pump, and a bag of sand or cat litter (for traction); compass and maps; flashlight, battery-powered radio, and extra batteries; first-aid kit; and plastic bags (for sanitation).
When walking, wear shoes or boots that have non-slip soles.
Keep driveways and sidewalks well shoveled, and apply sand or rock salt to improve traction. Don’t shovel snow that is too heavy to lift, especially if you have a heart condition or are elderly.
Wear a helmet when skiing, sledding, skating, snowboarding, or snowmobiling.
Help prevent illness. Maximize your resistance to cold or flu viruses by getting enough vitamins and minerals and eating a well-balanced diet, getting enough rest and exercise, and washing your hands frequently.
The Sturdy Memorial Hospital Emergency Care Center is equipped to handle some of the most serious situations life has to offer and treats nearly 50,000 patients annually. Staffed by physicians and nurses who are career emergency professionals and/or have been extensively trained in treating emergencies, the ECC is open 24 hours a day. For more information, visit www.sturdymemorial.org.