CHP reminds public on precautions against cold weather; Employer, employees also advised to take precaution

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The Centre for Health Protection (CHP) of the Department of Health (DH) today (January 28) reminded the public, particularly the elderly and people with chronic illnesses, to adopt appropriate measures to protect their health in view of the cold weather.

A spokesman for the CHP said that cold weather can easily trigger or worsen diseases, especially among the elderly and persons suffering from heart disease, respiratory illness or other chronic illnesses.

“Elderly people have less insulating fat beneath their skin to keep them warm and their body temperature control mechanism may be weaker. Their body may not be able to appropriately respond to the cold weather,” he said.

Likewise , the CHP reminded the elderly and persons with chronic illnesses, to adopt the following preventive measures:

  1. Take note of the weather forecast. Wear warm clothing, including hats, scarves, gloves and socks accordingly;2.
  2. Consume sufficient food to ensure adequate calorie intake;
  3. Perform regular physical activity to facilitate blood circulation and heat production;
  4. Stay in a warm environment and avoid prolonged outdoor exposure;
  5. Use heaters with care, and maintain adequate indoor ventilation; and
  6. Seek medical advice if feeling unwell

The CHP also reminded parents to observe the following safety measures when putting their children to bed during this cold weather.

1. Keep the room well ventilated and at a comfortable temperature;
2. Always place babies on their back to sleep. Leave their head, face and arms uncovered during sleep;
3.  do not need pillows. Place babies on a firm and well-fitted mattress to sleep. Avoid soft objects, pillows and loose bedding;
4. Let babies sleep in a cot placed in the parents’ room and near their bed; and
5.  Maintain a smoke-free environment.

Meanwhile, the Labour Department has also reminded employers that as the Cold Weather Warning is in force, they should take appropriate precautions which includes reminding employees who have to work outdoors or in remote areas to wear appropriately warm clothing. They should also make arrangements for employees to rotate from outdoor to indoor or sheltered work sites as far as possible

For their part, employees should take note of the weather report, wear appropriately warm clothing and be mindful of their health conditions. They should notify their supervisors and immediately seek medical help if they are feeling unwell, such as having cold limbs and body shivering.