Health recalls the measures to protect health from low temperatures

Dec 15, 2022 | Current affairs, Featured, Post, Revista Lloseta, Thursday Daily Bulletin, Tradition

The first National Plan of Preventive Actions for Low Temperatures establishes measures to coordinate the institutions involved and pays special attention to the most vulnerable groups in winter.

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The Ministry of Health reminds the population of a series of measures to protect their health in the face of low temperatures included in the new National Plan of Preventive Actions for Low Temperatures 2022-2023.

This Plan is launched with the aim of reducing the impact on the health of the population associated with the cold and forms part of the Strategic Plan for Health and the Environment (PESMA), drawn up by the Ministries of Health and Ecological Transition and the Demographic Challenge.

The intense cold has a negative effect on health, although only in very extreme cases are there effects such as hypothermia or frostbite, as stated in the document. What is more frequent is the over-stressing of the organism, which can lead to organic decompensation that aggravates chronic illnesses in vulnerable populations.

There are also more traffic accidents and falls due to ice, as well as fires and carbon monoxide poisoning from gas cookers or braziers.

In any case, the effects of low temperatures do not usually occur as acutely and suddenly as in the case of high temperatures. The plan points out that it is an environmental risk factor that must be taken into account and whose health impacts can be even greater than those of extreme heat.

General recommendations
In view of this situation, the National Plan of Preventive Actions for Low Temperatures 2022-2023 includes nine general recommendations to prevent the effects of colds on health. Specifically:

When outdoors, it is advisable to breathe through the nose and not through the mouth, as the air warms up as it passes through the nostrils, thus reducing the cold that reaches the lungs.
Exercise extreme caution on icy roads. A high percentage of cold-related injuries are related to falls from slipping on icy slabs. If possible, it is advisable to wear non-slip footwear.

It is important to know that several layers of thin clothing are more protective than a single thick layer, as they form insulating air chambers between them.
If you use braziers at home or a fireplace, it is advisable to ventilate the room frequently to avoid the accumulation of CO2. Ventilate the house at least twice a day, for 15 minutes each time, to ensure air renewal.
Do not take over-the-counter medication, as some medicines precipitate problems caused by exposure to cold.
Eat a varied diet, and eat fruit daily. Drink fluids, especially water and warm drinks.
Always be well informed about weather forecasts before leaving home.
Although anyone can suffer from a problem related to low temperatures, pay more attention to people who may be vulnerable to the cold. If necessary, contact a health professional.
Influenza vaccination is recommended for people over 65 years of age and for those suffering from chronic illnesses (cardiopulmonary, metabolic and immunocompromised).