The financial crisis that has affected our communities has forced families to choose between proper winter clothing for their children and paying their bills. Assemblywoman Crystal D. Peoples presented a Winter Hat and Glove Drive on Monday, December 22, 2008 to address this need. “I am shocked to see so many children waiting at bus stops and walking the streets without a hat, gloves or a scarf.”
Sometimes parents don’t have extra money for much-needed winter clothing. Local companies including USitekGroup, James M. Hoffman of Hunt Real Estate, Richard Binko, Esq., Alden Evergreen Nursery, EI Team, The Hammer Group and Inclusion Development gave monetary and clothing donations in support of the Winter Hat and Glove Drive. Peoples and her staff distributed over 50 hats and gloves and other winter items to the women and children at Cornerstone Manor. Additionally, several people stopped by her district office that day to receive some much-needed winter gear.
Assemblywoman Peoples urges people to pay attention to the winter weather warnings. Serious health problems can result from prolonged exposure to the cold. The most common cold-related problems are hypothermia and frostbite. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention offers the following tips regarding frostbite and hypothermia, which are also available on their website at www.cdc.gov.
Hypothermia, (abnormally low body temperature) is when your body beings to lose heat faster than it can be produced due to cold temperatures. Prolonged exposure to cold will eventually use up your body’s stored energy. Body temperature that is too low affects the brain, making the victim unable to think clearly or move efficiently. This makes hypothermia particularly dangerous because a person may not know it is happening and won’t be able to do anything about it. Victims of hypothermia are often elderly people with inadequate food, clothing, or heating; babies sleeping in cold bedrooms; people who remain outdoors for long periods and people who drink alcohol. In adults, the warning signs of hypothermia include: shivering, exhaustion, confusion, fumbling hands, memory loss, slurred speech; drowsiness. Infants who have hypothermia suffer from bright red, cold skin and very low energy.
Frostbite is an injury to the body that is caused by freezing, which can results in a loss of feeling and color to the skin. It usually affects the nose, cheeks, chin, fingers, toes and ears. Severe frostbite can lead to amputation because most people are unaware that it can permanently damage the body. The risk of frostbite is increased in people with reduced blood circulation causing numbness, a white or grayish-yellow skin area. At first signs of frostbite, you are encouraged to go to a warm room as soon as possible. People are warned to immerse the affected area in warm – NOT HOT – water, or warm the affected area using body heat. Also, walking on frostbitten feet, using frostbitten hands, and massaging the extremities are cautioned also because it can increase the damage.