Health & Medicine

Carrying on in the cold: Safety tips as the temperature dips

Robert Adams used a blower Wednesday morning to remove snow from the Robert Stephens Courthouse Plaza during a morning snow shower in downtown Lexington. Adams works for Meridian, which maintains the property. He said he wasn't ready for this cold. Snow showers and low temperatures are in the forecast for Kentucky as an arctic front moves through.
Robert Adams used a blower Wednesday morning to remove snow from the Robert Stephens Courthouse Plaza during a morning snow shower in downtown Lexington. Adams works for Meridian, which maintains the property. He said he wasn't ready for this cold. Snow showers and low temperatures are in the forecast for Kentucky as an arctic front moves through. Herald-Leader

With single-digit temperatures coming our way, several Central Kentucky companies and agencies are urging residents to use caution.

Here are a few tips from for Lexington-Fayette County Health Department, Kentucky Farm Bureau and Kentucky Utilities for coping with frigid weather.

■ Stay indoors if possible, but if you must go out, dress in layers and avoid exertion, because the cold puts extra strain on the heart.

■ Get immediate medical help if you see signs of hypothermia: shivering, exhaustion, confusion, fumbling hands, memory loss, slurred speech and drowsiness. Warm the center of the victim’s body first with an electric blanket or use skin-to-skin contact under loose layers of blankets. Warm beverages can also help.

■ Also seek immediate help for anyone with signs of frostbite: numbness, redness or pain, white or grayish-yellow skin, or skin that feels unusually firm or waxy. Immerse the affected area in water that is warm, but not hot. Do not rub the frostbitten area or warm it using a heating pad, heat lamp or the heat of a stove, fireplace or radiator.

■ Wrap insulation around exposed water pipes, disconnect garden hoses from exterior faucets, and run a small, steady trickle of water through interior faucets that are connected to pipes in unheated areas or next to exterior walls.

■ Have your furnace checked to make sure it's in top condition, and change the filter regularly. A dirty filter slows air flow, making the system work harder.

Get the latest on Chris Bailey's weather blog

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