When the weather outside gets frightful, there is nothing better than cozying up with a warm mug of cocoa, layering on the blankets, and binging on the latest Netflix show. However, staying warm is about much more than being comfortable. When the temperatures drop, cold weather can have serious negative impacts on your health and well being.
Most of us know about concerns such as hypothermia and frostbite, but there are other dangers to cold weather that you may not have realized. This is why it is vital to take extra precautions in preparing your home and how you dress during cold weather.
Hypothermia is defined as when your body is losing heat faster than it can produce it. There are many circumstances in which this can happen such as prolonged exposure to cold temperatures, immersion in cold water, or even living in a too cold home that is not properly heated. Young children and elderly are more susceptible to hypothermia.
Frostbite–and the less serious frostnip– occurs when your skin freezes. When temperatures are cold and windy, frostbite can occur in a matter of minutes on exposed skin.
Cold temperatures cause your blood vessels to constrict, which can increase chance of heart attack. Add that to potential overexertion from shoveling or other cold weather activity, and you may create the perfect storm.
Cleveland Clinic explains that both cold air and dry air can irritate air ways, which can in turn trigger an asthma attack in people who suffer from asthma.
You may not have thought of CO poisoning as a danger of cold temperatures, but it is something to be aware of. According to the CDC, “When people must use space heaters and fireplaces to stay warm, the risk of household fires increases, as well as the risk of carbon monoxide (CO) poisoning.”
When the temperatures plummet, many of these dangers can be avoided by being prepared and staying inside a safely and properly heated home or building as much as possible. When you do need to go outside, make sure to bundle up and keep it brief–come in for breaks every so often. It is especially important to keep an eye on young children who are more vulnerable to negative cold weather conditions.
For more information about keeping your home warm this winter, contact us at Flame Heating, Cooling, Plumbing and Electrical.