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Posted: January 03, 2018

Staying healthy and safe in the cold



By Stephanie Brown

With the cold and rainy weather, the Florida Department of Health in Duval County wants to make sure you’re staying safe.

CLOSURES: First Coast winter closures and resources

First and foremost, you’re urged to stay indoors as much as possible. You should also check on friends, family, and neighbors who are at risk in the cold, including young children, older adults, and the chronically ill. 

If you do go outside, make sure to dress in multiple layers of loose-fitting clothing.

“Your body temperature goes up and down as you move from inside to outside, you want to be able to remove layers of clothing or apply layers of clothing to maintain good body temperature,” says Florida Department of Health Duval Director Dr. Kelli Wells.

Scarves, mittens, hats, and other winter gear is recommended. Eating a well-balanced meal and drinking warm beverages can also help you stay warmer. Avoid drinking alcohol, because it can cause you to lose heat more rapidly. 

Carbon monoxide poisoning is a risk, with more people using generators. These must be properly ventilated, and the Health Department recommends installing a CO detector.

“Carbon monoxide is deadly, but it’s odorless and colorless.  You can be exposed to it for extended periods of time wihtout having any symptoms,” Wells says.

Use extreme caution if you’re planning to heat your home with a wood stove, fireplace, or space heater. 

You also need to be on alert for wild animals that may be displaced by the cold weather. Avoid any wild or feral animals- including cats, bats, and raccoons- because they could have rabies.

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