Usually, our primary concern is getting to class in the cold – if we make it to class at all. But be warned: there are some dangerous health threats that accompany a winter wonderland.
Due to prolonged exposure to cold weather, hypothermia causes symptoms such as shivering, slurred speech, weak pulse and shallow breathing. For all you hip party hoppers, be careful when you consume alcohol — you may not realize when you’re in danger. That warm, fuzzy bliss without a care in the world (otherwise known as a beer jacket) can make the trek back from North to South Campus extremely dangerous if you’re not dressed appropriately.
Just a quick step onto unstable ice can result in disaster. Stay away from unofficial ice-skating areas, even if you’re dying to get on the Lakefill. You don’t want to get caught in the freezing water and risk hypothermia or even death.
Carbon Monoxide is a silent but deadly gas that can accompany the indoor heating required in winter. Colorless and odorless, it can cause brain damage and death. CO is produced by burning any material containing carbon, so beware of household appliances like gas water heaters, kerosene space heaters, and propane stoves. Lack of proper ventilation can cause a build-up of carbon monoxide. Early symptoms include headaches, nausea and fatigue.