Health Watch -- Safe and Warm: Be Prepared

Health Watch is a Public Service of the Office of News and Publications and is intended to provide general information only and should not replace the advice of a medical professional. You should contact your physician if you have questions about any of these topics.


We’re talking about staying safe and warm this week on Health Watch. Even when you venture outdoors, you need to think about staying safe and warm. That’s why Dr. Paul Pepe, chairman of emergency medicine at UT Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas, says you shouldn’t leave the house in cold weather without your coat.

It’s tempting to just hop in the car when you only have to make a short trip, but what happens if you get stuck in a traffic jam, or have a flat tire or a dead battery? Your quick errand could leave you stuck outside longer than you planned, and weather that’s OK for a minute or two could cause hypothermia with extended exposure.

Dr. Pepe says you should plan to spend an hour outside whenever you leave the house. It’s also a good idea to put some blankets, water and a flashlight in your trunk in case of emergency.

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January 2006

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