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For Release: Feb. 3, 2011
Contact:  Leslea Bennett-Webb
Office of Communications
405/271-5601

Winter Storm Injury Update 

The Oklahoma State Department of Health (OSDH) urged caution this morning as more Oklahomans venture outside in an effort to return to their normal routines. Winter storm related injuries reported at hospitals throughout the state for the last 24 hours total 149, with 100 of those injuries recorded as slips and falls. Clearing porches, sidewalks and vehicles of ice and snow could be treacherous. Persons should carry a full-charged cell phone in case they need to summon help. 

In addition, exposure to the state's extremely cold temperatures can pose the opportunity for frostbite, hypothermia and even death, with infants and elderly most at risk. Oklahomans who are not used to prolonged cold may not be as prepared as they should be to dress in layers, wear hats and gloves and assure all exposed skin is covered. While indoors, try to keep at least one room heated to 70 F.

The OSDH also warns Oklahomans not to skate, slide, or sled on frozen ponds, creeks, rivers, or lakes. Although the water appears to be frozen, it may not be solid enough to support the weight of a person. Temperatures in Oklahoma are never cold enough to completely freeze recreational water.

Finally, remember that overexertion, such a shoveling snow or pushing a car, can strain your heart.

Additional winter weather precautions are available on the Oklahoma State Department of Health Web site at www.health.ok.gov.

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