Tuesday, January 2, 2018

Cold Weather Advisory - Risk of Hypothermia and Carbon Monoxide Poisoning from Alternative Heating Sources

With the threat of upcoming winter storms and current cold temperatures, there is a risk of carbon monoxide poisoning from improper use of alternative heating sources to heat homes. Also, the risk of hypothermia is high from individuals not properly dressed for cold temperatures. Fact sheets on winter safety are available at https://healthalerts.ky.gov/Pages/WinterSafety.aspx.

Carbon Monoxide Poisoning

• Don’t use a generator, charcoal grill, camp stove or other gasoline or charcoal-burning device inside your home, basement or garage or near a window.

• Don’t run a car or truck inside a garage attached to your house, even if you leave the door open.

• Don’t burn anything in a stove or fireplace that isn’t properly vented.

• Don’t heat your house with a gas oven.

• Seek prompt medical attention by calling 911 or the Kentucky Regional Poison Center at 1-800-222-1222 if you suspect carbon monoxide poisoning and are feeling dizzy, light-headed, have a headache, chest pain or are feeling nauseous.

• To install a battery-operated carbon monoxide detector in your home or replace the battery when you change the time on your clocks each spring and fall for daylight savings time. If the detector sounds, leave your home immediately and call 911.

• The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has carbon monoxide materials available at http://www.cdc.gov/co/guidelines.htm in 17 languages.


• Hypothermia can result when the body’s temperature drops below what is necessary to maintain normal bodily functions. In severe cases or when the body is not warmed properly, death can result.

• To prevent hypothermia, wear appropriate clothing and limit the time you spend outdoors. Layer clothes made of synthetic and wool fabrics, which are best for keeping warm. Remember to wear hats, coats, scarves and gloves.

• Symptoms of hypothermia include shivering, altered speech pattern, abnormally slow rate of breathing, cold pale skin and lethargy. Seek medical attention if you experiences signs of hypothermia. Individuals experiencing these symptoms should call 911 or seek medical attention immediately.

For more information please visit https://www.cdc.gov/disasters/winter/index.html.

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