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February 13th, 2013

Health Dept. offers tips to stay safe in frigid weather

GOSHEN - With outside temperatures below normal, the Orange County Department of Health recommends that residents take precautions and watch for some of the dangers associated with this weather.

Orange County Commissioner of Health Dr. Jean M. Hudson offers these guidelines to help residents stay safe during the cold:

• Watch for signs of hypothermia. Early signs of hypothermia in adults include shivering, confusion, memory loss, drowsiness and slurred speech. Infants who are suffering from hypothermia may appear to have very low energy and bright red, cold skin.

• Be sure the outer layer of clothing is tightly woven to reduce body-heat loss caused by wind. If you will be spending time outside, do not ignore shivering - it is the first sign that the body is losing heat and a signal to return indoors.

• People with cardiac problems or high blood pressure should follow doctor’s orders about shoveling. Even healthy adults should remember that their bodies are working overtime just to stay warm, and dress appropriately and work slowly with outdoor chores.

County Executive Edward A. Diana reminds residents, "We must keep tabs on our friends and neighbors who may need a little extra help during the extreme cold – especially the sick, elderly, and the very young. Going outside and having fun on a winter day is all part of growing up in Orange County – just be prepared and limit your time."

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