Tips for Staying Safe in the Cold - Wheaton Franciscan Healthcare

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Published on January 11, 2016

Tips for Staying Safe in the Cold

When the temperatures drop, it's important to take precautions to avoid frostbite and hypothermia. Follow these tips from the Milwaukee Health Department and Wheaton Franciscan Healthcare experts to stay safe in the cold weather:

  • Minimize time spent outdoors. If you do go outside, let someone know where you are going and when you expect to return.
  • Wear appropriate outdoor clothing and dress in layers. Be sure to cover exposed skin, including your fingers, nose and ears.
  • Be aware of the symptoms of frostbite and hypothermia. Frostbite can occur within minutes when unprotected skin is exposed to very cold temperatures.
  • Shovel snow slowly and take frequent breaks. Don't shovel if you have a heart condition or back problems.
  • Heat your home with devices approved for indoor use, and ensure they are properly vented to prevent carbon monoxide poisoning or fires. Don't use kerosene heaters or a gas stove to heat your home.
  • Be especially careful if you must drive:
    • Be sure your car is in good working order and that you have plenty of gas.
    • Make a car survival kit that includes blankets, extra clothing and high-energy foods.
    • Ensure that your vehicle’s fuel tank is at least half full and the battery is charged.
  • Bring pets inside and ensure trips outside are brief.
  • Check on family members and neighbors who may be at risk for illness or injuries, especially young children, the elderly and those with certain medical conditions.

Learn more about how to prepare for severe winter weather.

Stay warm and safe, everyone!


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Tips for Staying Safe in the Cold