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How to stay safe, healthy during cold weather

Posted at 4:41 PM, Feb 23, 2022
and last updated 2022-02-23 19:57:40-05

TWIN FALLS, Idaho — Following the warm weather the Magic Valley had over the weekend, freezing temperatures are in the forecast for the duration of this week.

The South Central Public Health District is sharing some general safety tips to be prepared and keep safe from the cold.

“Something that we sometimes see is we will hit some of those more spring-like temperatures, like the high 40s we just recently saw in parts of our area," said Brianna Bodily, spokesperson for the South Central Public Health District. "We’ll feel like, ‘Yes, I’m ready!’ We’ll be ready to put away our scarves and our coats, and when we hit those cold temperatures again, we’ll just not want to put them on because we’re so ready for Spring.”

One of the more general safety tips health officials are reminding residents about is to be careful of ice while walking or driving. One of the primary things the health district wants people to remember is that the cold weather makes your heart work harder, and there are signs to look for in case you are overexerting yourself.

“If you have unexplained dizziness and consistent dizziness, it’s a good idea to check out what’s causing that," said Bodily. "If you have extreme fatigue, that could be a sign that your heart is struggling. If you have chest pain, that’s an emergency sign, and you should get checked out, or difficulty breathing, another emergency sign.”

For people who plan to be outside for an extended period of time for either work or recreation, it's important to dress appropriately to prevent hypothermia or even frostbite.

“It’s a great idea to wear loose, comfortable layers," said Bodily. "If you can make that bottom layer something in wool because it doesn’t soak up that sweat that you might have, it won’t keep you wet, that’s a great idea. Your outer layer should be something to block the wind.”

Officials also encourage people to check in on more vulnerable populations, like someone with a health condition, to ensure that they're feeling ok.

“Your younger kids and your older kids are at higher risk for complications from those temperature changes," said Bodily. "They’re also much less likely to tell you if they’re uncomfortable.”