Cold Weather Safety Tips
As the temperatures continue to fall and snow begins to blanket our area, cold weather safety is on our minds! During winter months, preventing hypothermia, particularly for older adults, is incredibly important. Hypothermia can lead to further health complications including heart attack, kidney problems, or liver problems. We all know that hypothermia can be caused by being outside in frigid temperatures, but did you know that you can develop hypothermia if the temperature in your house is kept too low? The National Institute of Health recommends these tips to prevent hypothermia
Set your heat to at least 68–70°F. To save on heating bills, close off rooms you are not using. Close the vents and shut the doors in these rooms, and keep the basement door closed.
Place a rolled towel in front of all doors to keep out drafts. Make sure your house isn't losing heat through windows. Keep your blinds and curtains closed. If you have gaps around the windows, try using weather stripping or caulk to keep the cold air out.
Dress warmly on cold days even if you are staying in the house. Throw a blanket over your legs. Wear socks and slippers.
When you go to sleep, wear long underwear under your pajamas, and use extra covers. Wear a cap or hat.
Make sure you eat enough food to keep up your weight. If you don't eat well, you might have less fat under your skin. Body fat helps you to stay warm.
Drink alcohol moderately, if at all. Alcoholic drinks can make you lose body heat.
Ask family or friends to check on you during cold weather. If a power outage leaves you without heat, try to stay with a relative or friend.
If you need help staying warm this winter, these local organizations are available to assist you:
Capstone Community Action
Central Vermont Council on Aging
Dial 211 or visit vermont211.org