Last updated: December 14, 2021
Cold Weather Tips
|The Anne Arundel County Department of Health encourages residents to exercise caution during extremely cold temperatures. Whether inside or out, cold weather can be dangerous to those who are unprepared to deal with it.
When exposed to cold temperatures, your body begins to lose heat faster than it can be produced.
Frostbite is an injury to the body that is caused by freezing. Frostbite causes a loss of feeling and color in the affected areas. It most often affects the nose, ears, cheeks, chin, fingers, or toes. Frostbite can permanently damage body tissues, and severe cases can lead to amputation. In extremely cold temperatures, the risk of frostbite is increased in individuals with reduced blood circulation and among those who are not dressed properly.
Symptoms of frostbite include:
Children, the elderly and people with poor circulatory systems are at particular risk for hypothermia or frostbite. The Department of Health offers the following tips to help residents cope with winter conditions when outside:
Residents should also be aware of the risks cold weather poses when inside the house. The Department offers the following tips to help residents remain safe in their homes during cold conditions:
Freezing and Bursting Pipes:
Here is more information about dealing with winter weather conditions outdoors, at home or in a vehicle:
Hot Weather Tips
When the temperature rises and more people are enjoying outdoor summer activities, it is important to avoid dehydration and excessive exposure to the sun. The humidity also makes it harder to handle the hot temperatures. The Department of Health encourages all residents to be cautious of heat-related illnesses.
The elderly, young children, those who are overweight and those who have chronic health conditions (like heart disease or diabetes) are especially at risk of dehydration and overheating. This can lead to heat exhaustion or heat stroke. The following suggestions can help you avoid heat-related illnesses:
The first sign of heat illness is often heat cramps. Some of the signs of heat exhaustion are heavy sweating, cold pale clammy skin, headache, nausea, vomiting, muscle or abdominal cramping, fast weak pulse, fainting, weakness, thirst or an altered ability to think. If someone has signs of heat exhaustion, immediately take the person to a cool place and provide water or a sports drink. If symptoms persist, seek medical attention by calling 911 at once.
Heat stroke, the most serious heat-related illness, occurs when the body temperature increases to 104 F or higher and requires immediate medical treatment. Symptoms include hot dry and reddened skin (no longer able to sweat), nausea and vomiting, rapid irregular pulse, seizures, confusion and disorientation, and delirium. Call 911 immediately.
Electric fans may provide comfort, but when the temperature is in the high 90s, fans will not prevent heat-related illness. Taking a cool shower or bath or moving to an air-conditioned place is a much better way to cool off. Air conditioning is the strongest protective factor against heat-related illness. Exposure to air conditioning for even a few hours a day will reduce the risk for heat-related illness. Consider visiting a shopping mall or public library for a few hours.
Whether you are working outdoors, attending social functions or relaxing by the water, it is important to take the proper precautions in warm weather.