(photo credit: ILAN SHOCHAT)
Magen David Adom in the North this week treated three people who were hurt as a result of falling trees, winds and cold, evacuating them to Haifa’s Rambam Medical Center.
A woman, 38, suffered injured a shoulder when strong winds opened a window in her home and hit her powerfully. A Kiryat Motzkin woman, 42, hurt her legs when a tree branch fell and hit her. And a 72-year-old man hurt his limbs when the glass from his window shattered due to the weather. MDA added that in recent days, there has been an increase in the number of fires due to heaters of various kinds.
MDA has issued advice to the public for a safe winter. Regarding carbon monoxide poisoning from burning fuel in heaters without airing out the home, it noted that CO can kill when gas and kerosene heaters are used improperly.
The gas is odorless and colorless and cannot be detected before it causes damage.
Signs of CO poisoning include dizziness, nausea, tiredness, weakness and, in serious cases, loss of consciousness.
Users should periodically have their heating systems checked, especially before the winter sets in. Heaters that use an open flame must be at a distance from inflammable objects such as sofas and blankets. Prevent small children from reaching heaters, and don’t put clothing on heaters to dry unless they are radiators.
Have electrical fixtures checked before connecting the plugs outlets. If a problem occurs, close the heating system, ventilate the house and call MDA at 101.
To prevent hypothermia, the elderly, infants and sick people in bed should be kept warm with layers of lightweight clothing to allow movement. Cover them with light blankets and ensure the room is heated to about 22 degrees Centigrade (72 Fahrenheit). Signs of hypothermia include reduced functioning, confusion, lack of appetite and sleepiness. If these appear, call MDA. Signs of frostbite include pain and a numb feeling. Warm limbs with lukewarm (and not hot) water and massage them gently. Do not attach them to splints.
Infants should not be covered with heavy blankets, so they do not choke.
With wet and slippery roads, driving can be very risky. Make sure to maintain a safe distance from the vehicle before you and drive slower than usual. Dry up moisture on the windows that reduce visibility.
Be careful not to drive into puddles, as they may be much deeper than expected. Never leave young children alone in a heated vehicle, as there may be too little oxygen.
Objects on balconies or roofs that can fall or fly about, such as antennas, flowerpots, garden tables and chairs, toys and devices to hang laundry should be tightened or removed so they don’t hurt passersby.