Rita Landgraf, Secretary
Jill Fredel, Director of Communications
302-255-9047, Cell 302-357-7498
Date: January 20, 2016
DOVER (Jan. 20, 2016) - Looks like winter has finally decided to arrive and the Division of Public Health (DPH) reminds people to prepare both themselves and their animals for freezing temperatures.
Hypothermia can occur in cold weather or if a person becomes chilled by rain. Infants and the elderly are particularly at risk, but anyone can be affected. Cold weather can put extra strain on the heart, so individuals with heart disease or high blood pressure should follow their doctors' advice about exerting themselves in the cold.
Frostbite is an injury to the body that is caused by freezing. Frostbite causes a loss of feeling and color in affected areas. It most often affects the nose, ears, cheeks, chin, fingers, or toes. Frostbite can permanently damage the body, and severe cases can lead to amputation. The risk of frostbite increases for people with reduced blood circulation and among those who are not dressed properly for extremely cold temperatures.
Recognize the symptoms of frostbite:
At the first signs of redness or pain in any skin area, get out of the cold or protect any exposed skin - frostbite may be beginning. Any of the following signs may indicate frostbite:
A victim is often unaware of frostbite until someone else points it out because the frozen tissues are numb. If you detect symptoms of frostbite, seek medical care.
Prevent problems before they occur:
When heading out in cold weather, remember the following:
For more information on cold weather preparation, visit: emergency.cdc.gov/disasters/winter/
Protect your pet during cold weather:
If you see a pet that has been left outdoors in cold temperatures without proper shelter or protection from the elements, food, or water, report it immediately to the Delaware Animal Services Hotline at 302-255-4646. In the City of Wilmington, call 302-654-5151.
Individuals seeking TTY services should call 7-1-1 or 800-232-5460. A person who is deaf, hard-of-hearing, deaf-blind, or speech-disabled can use a TTY to type his/her conversation to a relay operator, who then reads the typed conversation to a hearing person at the DPH call center. The relay operator relays the hearing person's spoken words by typing them back to the TTY user. To learn more about translation services and TTY availability in Delaware, visit delawarerelay.com. Delaware Health and Social Services is committed to improving the quality of the lives of Delaware's citizens by promoting health and well-being, fostering self-sufficiency, and protecting vulnerable populations. DPH, a division of DHSS, urges Delawareans to make healthier choices with the 5-2-1 Almost None campaign: eat 5 or more fruits and vegetables each day, have no more than 2 hours of recreational screen time each day (includes TV, computer, gaming), get 1 or more hours of physical activity each day, and drink almost no sugary beverages.
Delaware Health and Social Services is committed to improving the quality of the lives of Delaware's citizens by promoting health and well-being, fostering self-sufficiency, and protecting vulnerable populations.