In order to promote winter safety, staff members at the Henry and Stark County Health Department offer the following winter survival strategies:
On the road — Use low-beam headlights when driving through fog or snowstorms to provide better visibility. Be prepared for breakdowns with emergency flares, a blanket, first-aid kit, white cloth to signal distress, flashlight, snow shovel, empty gas can and food and water.
At home — Carbon monoxide, a colorless, odorless gas and a by-product of combustion is an invisible killer. Possible sources include wood-burning stoves, fireplaces, kerosene, gas or oil heaters and furnaces. For protection, assure proper ventilation, have the above mentioned devices inspected and install a carbon monoxide detector.
Under the sun — Sunburns aren't limited to summer. Sunlight in winter can burn, especially when reflected off ice or snow. When skiing or otherwise enjoying the outdoors, wear sunglasses that protect the eyes against ultraviolet light and wear sunscreen on exposed skin, including lips.
Overexposed — Watch for frostbite or hypothermia and seek help without delay if either is suspected. Danger signs of frostbite include redness, tingling, stinging pain or small white patches on the skin. For hypothermia, look for uncontrollable shivering, sleepiness and shallow breathing. Alcohol increases loss of body heat, so avoid its use if you plan to be outdoors for a long time.
For more information, contact health department staff at (309) 852-0197.