Bundle up! Health scares that can happen in extremely cold temperatures

SPOKANE, Wash. — We’ve been dealing with cold weather for weeks now, but this week in particular, we’re dealing with single digit temperatures that are close to zero.

The wind chill can make it feel even below that.

Can we dress the same way we would in 30 and 20 degree temperatures? Some people may be brave enough to go without a hat or gloves on a normal winter day.

But for extremely cold weather, the National Weather Service is saying it’s necessary.

The amount of layers you wear is important too.

If you’re planning on spending an extended amount of time outside, you want to avoid any unnecessary exposure of your body to the cold.

If you normally wear two layers under your jacket or coat, you want to bump that up to three.

The base layer is for insulation — preferably made of a material that will keep your skin as dry as possible.

Two layers of bottoms with waterproof boots is ideal and then a warm hat, gloves and face covering is going to keep you warm and comfortable.

Dressing for extreme cold

It can also save your life and limbs when it comes to frostbite and hypothermia — two things that can set in quickly if you’re out in the cold long enough.

Frostbite and hypothermia are two conditions that can set in quickly if you’re spending time outside in the cold, dressed improperly and the wind chill is a factor.

If you or someone you know is taking a morning walk, working outside, or has any outdoor plans in these frigid temperatures, here’s what you need to know according to Ready.gov:

Frostbite causes loss of feeling and color around the face, fingers and toes.

  • Signs: Numbness, white or grayish-yellow skin, firm or waxy skin.
  • Actions: Go to a warm room. Soak in warm water. Use body heat to warm. Do not massage or use a heating pad.

Hypothermia is an unusually low body temperature. A temperature below 95 degrees is an emergency.

  • Signs: Shivering, exhaustion, confusion, fumbling hands, memory loss, slurred speech or drowsiness.
  • Actions: Go to a warm room. Warm the center of the body first—chest, neck, head and groin. Keep dry and wrapped up in warm blankets, including the head and neck.

According to the American Red Cross, avoid frostbite and hypothermia by being aware of the wind chill in your area and dressing for it.

Drink warm fluids, but it’s recommended that you avoid caffeine and alcoholic beverages.

When you’re outside, stay active to maintain your body heat.

Take breaks from the cold as much as possible and if you feel frostbite or hypothermia setting in, go inside immediately.

The best way to stay warm would be to stay inside, but if you need to be out this week, this is your best way to stay warm and stay safe!

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