Media Contact: Brittany Fowler, Deputy Director, Office of Communications, 410-767-1368 or Deidre McCabe, Director, Office of Communications, 410-767-3536
State Alerts Residents to Follow Safety Tips and Take Precautions to Avoid Cold-Related Illness and Injury
“I urge all Marylanders to take precautions during this winter weather advisory and the cold spell that will follow,” said Maryland Department of Health Secretary Robert R. Neall. “Be mindful when going outside to shovel snow or for other outdoor activities, to layer clothing and take frequent breaks if involved with physical activity.”
Extreme cold weather can lead to serious health issues. Exposure to cold can lead to low body temperature, hypothermia, frostbite and even death. Shoveling snow or exercising in the cold can lead to heart attacks and stroke.
Hypothermia occurs when body temperature falls below 95 degrees Fahrenheit. Nearly 600 Americans die each year from hypothermia. Symptoms of hypothermia include:
Frostbite refers to freezing and subsequent destruction of body tissue. This happens when skin temperatures get below 32 degrees Fahrenheit, most likely affecting toes, fingers, ears, cheeks and the tip of the nose. Symptoms of frostbite include:
The Department encourages residents to use the following tips to help cope with extreme cold conditions if they must go outside:
Residents should be aware of the risks cold weather poses inside homes and buildings:
Residents are also encouraged to prevent cold-related illness for pets:
Residents in need of warming centers are encouraged to reach out to their local health department or call 2-1-1 and provide their county location and zip code to get information about warming center locations, hours of operation and available accommodations.
More information about staying safe in cold weather is available on the MDH Office of Preparedness and Response’s Facebook page and Twitter page.
The Maryland Department of Health is the state agency that protects Maryland’s public health. We work together to promote and improve the health and safety of all Marylanders through disease prevention, access to care, quality management, and community engagement. Stay connected: http://www.twitter.com/MDHealthDept and http://www.facebook.com/MarylandDHMH.
Marylanders in need of treatment for a substance use disorder can locate treatment facilities on our page a visit http://goo.gl/nIfGm0. Individuals can also call 211 and press 1 or text their zip code to 898-211 to speak with knowledgeable crisis call specialists. For information on many of the policies currently implemented to fight addiction and overdose in Maryland, see http://goo.gl/KvEzQw.
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