With bitter cold temperatures forecasted this month, the Norwalk Health Department and its partners throughout the city urge you to take these steps to stay warm and safe.
Spending too much time in extreme cold without proper protection can cause serious conditions such as hypothermia and frostbite.
Hypothermia occurs when your body loses heat faster than it produces it. If body temperature falls too low, it affects the brain, making the victim unable to think clearly or move well, which could prevent a person from knowing it is happening and doing anything to stop it. Signs of hypothermia in adults include shivering, exhaustion, confusion, fumbling hands, memory loss, slurred speech, drowsiness. In infants, signs like bright red, cold skin or very low energy could signal hypothermia. If you notice any of these signs, take the person’s temperature. If it is below 95 degrees, get medical attention immediately.
Frostbite is an injury to the body caused by freezing. Frostbite can permanently damage the body, and severe cases can lead to amputation. Signs of frostbite include white or grayish-yellow areas of skin, skin that feels unusually firm or waxy, and numbness. If you suspect frostbite, move to a warm space right away. Dip the affected area in warm water or warm the area with body heat. Do not use very hot water or another heat source like heat from a stove or radiator to warm the area, because frostbitten areas are numb and can burn easily. Also, do not massage the affected area or walk on frostbitten toes or feet, as these can cause more damage. Seek medical treatment.
For more information about staying safe in the cold weather, please see the following links: