Health Watch — Winter: Staying Warm

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 now in the depth of winter, and this week on Health Watch, we’ve got some tips to help you cope with the effects of the cold. While you try to stay warm, be careful about using alternative heating sources.

Dr. Paul Pepe, chairman of emergency medicine at UT Southwestern Medical Center, says ovens and stove tops should never be used to heat the house. If you use space heaters, keep them away from children, pets and flammable objects, such as curtains. Before using your fireplace, make sure the chimney is clear of leaves or other debris. There should be ventilation and fresh air when you use a fireplace. If everyone in the house develops a headache at the same time, the fireplace or furnace could be giving off carbon monoxide. Ventilate the room and have the fireplace or furnace checked.

Visit to learn more about UT Southwestern’s clinical services in emergency medicine.


December 2007

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