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Common Cold Health Hazards

Randy DeVaul

Posted on January 12, 2019 07:26

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Everyone is focused on the cold and flu season right now. There are other "cold" hazards to watch for, depending on where you live. Know the hazards to which you and your family may be exposed and you can avoid life-altering injuries so you and yours remain safe.

How are you doing with that New Year’s resolution now that we are halfway into the first month? Are you still walking or jogging? Maybe you are like me – I get my exercise shoveling snow so I am now ready for spring, meaning I don’t want any more exercise. Maybe you are ready to enjoy your hot coffee or cocoa and send the kiddies out the door for hours of fun sledding in the snow.

Whatever events or activities you are doing this time of the year, here are some healthy reminders to protect you and yours from the hazards of the season.

If you are outside for any length of time with a little one or simply cutting back on the heating bill inside the house, you must take precautions to protect your infant from losing body heat. Infants less than one year old should never sleep in a cold room or be ‘loosely wrapped’ outdoors because they lose body heat more easily than adults. Unlike adults, infants are unable to make enough body heat by shivering.

Keep close contact with your senior friends and relatives. Senior adults have difficulty maintaining body heat for a variety of reasons and saving money by cutting back on the heat during the coldest days or experiencing a power loss can be dangerous. Also, cold exposure can create complications with circulation as well as physical motion. Of course, snow and ice outside increases risk of slips and falls, the leading cause of injury in adults over 60 years old.

Are you a jogger that loves to run along the side of the road? Please remember that those of us who don’t (it’s a  health reason – I don’t want to die) may be having as much trouble keeping the car centered in the lane as you are keeping your footing in the slush. Make sure you are easily seen but remember the driver may not have as much control of the vehicle as the faith you have in hoping he does.

For those of us in the car, remember to clean off the windshield prior to starting your journey so you can see the jogger. Also remember that once the vehicle has heat, you are no doubt much more comfortable than the jogger trying to dodge slush, water, and chemicals so slow down, swing a little wider, and courteously avoid the ‘slush lake’ near the sides of the road.

Shoveling snow increases heart rate to a level above cardio workouts and can lead to a heart attack. Improper shoveling causes back injury, skin exposure to the cold causes frostbite to exposed body parts, and cold temperatures complicate breathing problems.

Throwing down chemicals to melt ice is great as long as those chemicals stay on the sidewalk or driveway. Once you walk through them, though, remember you bring them into your home on your shoes. Pets and kids love eating this stuff.

Keep your resolutions, stay bundled, and have a safe day!

Randy DeVaul

Posted on January 12, 2019 07:26

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Source: WPRI 12

Once winter weather descends upon Southern New England, it’s crucial to make sure you’re prepared so your family is safe...

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