Health and Safety Tips for Extremely Cold Weather

For Immediate Release: January 15, 2004

Contact: Vermont Department of Health
Communications Office

BURLINGTON - Cold weather takes on a new meaning with frigid temperatures and below zero wind chills. Extremely cold temperatures may cause power failures and risky driving conditions, but personal health and safety should be important considerations for children and adults, whether in the home or outdoors.

Infants and older adults are particularly susceptible to hypothermia, or below normal body temperature. Infants do not make enough body heat by shivering, and the slower metabolism of an older adult will not create enough body heat if exposed to cold temperatures. Even healthy adults can become hypothermic if not dressed properly for the weather conditions. Wearing warm clothes, keeping babies and older adults in warm rooms, eating well-balanced meals, avoiding alcohol and drinking warm drinks will help maintain a healthy body temperature.

Although extremely cold temperatures are here, you can still prevent cold-related health problems and be prepared for emergencies. Winter survival kits for the home and car are a good start. Some recommendations for a home survival kit include:

An automobile survival kit may include:

The extremely cold weather won’t last forever, and the lasting impression of cold-related health problems can be avoided by planning ahead. More cold weather health and safety tips can be found on the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention web site.