AUSTIN (KXAN) - With the forecast of snow in the hill country some tips to brave the freezing temperatures may come in handy.
Scott & White Hospital in Round Rock says while the warmer ground temperatures may prevent snow accumulation, precautions should be observed.
Scott & White has some tips to protect your children's health as well. The Emergency Room suggests keeping your household temperature set between 64 degrees and 75 degrees Fahrenheit. If you have very young children, elderly residents or those with health problems they suggest a temperature no lower than 68 degrees.
The hospital also says to make sure any outer layers of clothing are tightly woven to reduce body-heat loss caused by wind. If you will be spending time outside, do not ignore shivering - it is an important first sign that the body is losing heat and a signal to quickly return indoors.
Colder temperatures can put an extra burden on your heart as well. If you have cardiac problems or high blood pressure use caution as your body is already working overtime just to keep warm. Working slower when doing heavy outdoor chores as well as dressing appropriately can help you brave the temperatures.
Being aware of the signs of hypothermia can save your life. Early indicators in adults include shivering, confusion, memory loss, drowsiness, exhaustion and slurred speech. Infants who are suffering from hypothermia may appear to have very low energy and bright red, cold skin.
Carbon Monoxide poisoning is very common in winter months as well. The potentially deadly gas is colorless, odorless, tasteless and non-irritating. It is produced by burning fuels such as wood, oil, natural gas, kerosene, coal and gasoline. Symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning are similar to the flu but do not include a fever. At lower levels of exposure, a person may experience a headache, fatigue, nausea, vomiting, dizziness, and shortness of breath. Exposure to very high levels of carbon monoxide can result in loss of consciousness and even death.
Wood stoves, space heaters, electric heaters, heaters and pellet stoves can be dangerous unless proper safety precautions are followed. Never try to thaw a pipe and be aware of the potential for electric shock in and around standing water. To keep water pipes from freezing in the home let faucets drip a little to avoid freezing, open cabinet doors to allow more heat to get to un-insulated pipes under a sink or appliance near an outer wall. Keep the heat on and set no lower than 55 degrees.
One final tip, make sure to allow additional time getting to your destination to avoid getting in accidents.
Prevention tips for children:
Children may not be aware of cold temperatures. Parents need to understand the ways in which the body loses heat and:
Limit the amount of time a child is out in cold, wet, or windy weather.
Dress children appropriately for the weather conditions. Remember C- O- L- D:
Cover your child's head, neck and face as much as possible since a lot of heat loss can occur in these areas. These areas are also at risk for frostbite. Apply lip protection.
Overexertion (being too active) can cause your child to sweat and chill more quickly. Sweating causes clothing to become damp and increases heat loss.
Layers of clothing will keep your child warm and protect your child best against wind and cold conditions.
Dry is key in preventing cold injury. Keeping your child dry with waterproof clothing reduces heat loss.
Keep close watch on your children's body heat even in the summer when they are swimming in a lake or pool for a long time.
Teach children to avoid touching cold metal with bare hands or licking extremely cold metal objects. Cold is transmitted more easily through metal and increases the risk of a cold injury, such as frostbite. Also, your child's tongue might stick to the cold metal and be difficult to remove.
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