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Posted on: December 22, 2022

Severe winter weather health tips from Kenosha County

Photo of thermometer sticking out of the snow

Kenosha County Public Health in cooperation with the Kenosha County Division of Emergency Management is issuing tips for keeping warm and safe during the upcoming extreme weather.

The National Weather Service has issued a Winter Storm Warning for Kenosha County from Thursday, Dec. 22 until 6 a.m. on Saturday, Dec. 24.  Cold arctic air and bitter wind chills are expected tonight through the holiday weekend.  Hazardous travel conditions are expected, and blizzard conditions remain possible, especially across more rural and open, exposed areas. Visibility on roadways will be very low with blowing and drifting snow. 

As the temperature begins to drop, serious health problems may result from prolonged exposure to the cold.  The most common cold-related problems are Hypothermia and Frostbite.  

Signs of Hypothermia include shivering, exhaustion, confusion, fumbling hands, memory loss, slurred speech, and drowsiness in adults and children.  In infants, symptoms can include bright red or cold skin and very low energy.  Do not ignore shivering.  It's an important first sign that the body is losing heat.  Persistent shivering is a sign to return indoors.  If you notice anyone exhibiting any of the symptoms of hypothermia, seek medical care immediately.

Frostbite can occur on exposed skin in less than 10 minutes. Symptoms include a loss of feeling and a white or pale appearance to the skin.  Areas most often affected include the nose, ears, cheeks, chin, fingers, or toes. Frostbite can permanently damage the body. The risk of frostbite is increased in people with reduced blood circulation and among people who are not dressed properly for extremely cold temperatures. When spending time outdoors, adults and children should dress warmly and stay dry. Layer clothing to reduce loss of body-heat caused by the wind.   Limit your time outside. If you see these signs, seek medical care immediately.

For the latest information about the forecasted winter storm, check in with your local National Weather Service office, at https://weather.gov. More winter weather health and safety tips from the Wisconsin Department of Health Services are available at https://www.dhs.wisconsin.gov/climate/winter-weather.htm.

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