Wear layers of clothing, a scarf and hat when shoveling snow or being outside for any reason
Keep an emergency kit in the car of a blanket, flashlight, water and food source. Let someone know where you are traveling and when you expect to arrive.
Clear snow in small sections and take frequent breaks
Avoid sudden twisting that could lead to a fall or sore muscles
Push snow instead of lifting when possible
Shoveling snow may make chronic health conditions worse – if chest pain happens and does not get better, call 911 immediately
Watch for signs of frost bite – ears, fingers, nose and toes are at greatest risk. Skin that has frost bite is often painful, may be very red or pale white in color or may lose feeling. Warming should be done slowly – use warm not hot water and do not rub injured body parts.
Change wet clothes immediately – wet clothes add to the risk of hypothermia
Signs and symptoms of hypothermia or low body temperature include lack of coordination, mental confusion, slowed reactions, shivering, heart rhythm irregularities and sleepiness. Anyone having the symptoms of hypothermia should move to a warm environment, remove wet clothing and check for signs of frost bite.
Hypothermia or low body temperature is a serious risk during cold weather. Hypothermia occurs when the body temperature has fallen below 95 degrees Fahrenheit and the body does not produce enough energy to keep the internal body temperature warm enough. Hypothermia can also lead to heart failure.
For more information on staying safe, contact the Pettis County Health Center at (660) 827-1130.