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Cold weather tips for you and your pets

These tips can help you and your pets deal with the super-cold weather hitting Central Kentucky:

■ Dress in layered clothing and wear some kind of head cover.

■ When outside, avoid walking on ice, and keep your steps and walkways as free of ice as possible.

■ Be on the lookout for signs of hypothermia and frostbite, two common cold weather-related health problems. Warning signs of hypothermia, which is abnormally low body temperature, include shivering, exhaustion, confusion, fumbling hands, memory loss, slurred speech and drowsiness. Warnings signs for frostbite, or an injury to the body caused by freezing, include redness or pain in any skin area, white or grayish-yellow skin, skin that feels unusually firm or waxy and numbness.

■ Keep pets inside; after walks, wipe paws to remove de-icer.

■ Check on the elderly and infirm.

■ Check the antifreeze level of your car and add as needed. Clean up any spills: even a lick of antifreeze can be lethal to pets.

■ Keep a blanket or a sleeping bag in the trunk for emergencies.

■ Disconnect garden hoses.

■ Insulate exposed water pipes.

■ Allow water to trickle from a faucet to prevent pipes from freezing.

■ Avoid heavy exertion, such as shoveling the driveway, particularly if you have heart problems or high blood pressure. Cold puts extra strain on the heart.

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