For Release: Dec. 4, 2017 - Jamie Dukes, Office of Communications (405) 271-5601
As cooler temperatures make their way into the state, the Oklahoma State Department of Health (OSDH) encourages the public to begin preparation for the upcoming winter weather season. Proper planning can reduce the risk of injury and illness while also ensuring a family is prepared for a major winter weather event.
Cold outdoor temperatures require residents to monitor not only their home temperature, but their body temperature as well. Reports from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) advises infants less than 1 year of age should never sleep in a cold room because infants lose body heat more easily than adults. In a sleeping area, babies should not be wrapped in blankets, but rather dressed in warmer clothing such as footed pajamas. Also, a baby’s face and head should not be covered while sleeping. It is important not to over bundle a baby, because overheating can be dangerous as well.
Parents and caregivers should watch for signs of overheating, such as sweating or the baby’s chest feeling hot to the touch. If a comfortable indoor temperature cannot be maintained, temporary arrangements should be made to stay elsewhere.
It is also important for adults age 65 and older to remain in a warm environment as they often make less body heat because of a slower metabolism and less physical activity.
Scott Sproat, director of the OSDH Emergency Preparedness and Response Service, said it’s important to use caution when heating a home with a fireplace, space heater or wood stove, using them only when they are properly vented.
“You can protect yourself from carbon monoxide (CO) poisoning by installing a battery-operated CO detector,” said Sproat. “Never use generators, grills, camp stoves, or similar devices inside the house, in basements, in garages, or near windows. It’s also important to have chimneys cleaned and inspected each year.”
Other tips to prepare for winter weather include: