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PO Box 360
Trenton, NJ 08625-0360
|Clifton R. Lacy, M.D. |
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“Each season of the year is associated with certain health hazards,” said Commissioner of Health and Senior Services Clifton R. Lacy, M.D. “In winter, cold weather, snow and ice increase the risk for cold-related illness and injury. New Jerseyans need to be aware of these hazards and the preventive measures they can take to protect themselves and their families.”
To stay safe indoors, residents should make sure heating systems are working properly. It is a good idea to have heating systems inspected each year, and to install carbon monoxide and smoke alarms near bedrooms and on each floor of the home. Have your fireplace chimney and flue inspected each year and cleaned if needed.
Also, use space heaters carefully, keeping them at least three feet away from anything that can burn. Keep children and pets away from space heaters.
The most serious cold-related illness is hypothermia, which can even occur indoors in susceptible persons. Keep indoor temperatures at 68 degrees or above. This is especially important in homes with infants and the elderly.
Hypothermia symptoms include violent shivering at first, followed by a decrease in shivering, distorted speech, confusion and eventually unconsciousness. In addition to advanced age, risk factors include heart disease, chronic lung disease, alcohol consumption and use of sedative drugs.
Other advice for avoiding cold-related illness and injury:
For more information on health-related matters, visit the department's web site at www.state.nj.us/health.
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Department of Health
P. O. Box 360, Trenton, NJ 08625-0360