Bitter cold temperatures bring hidden dangers

Published 11:13 am Tuesday, February 6, 2007

By Staff
The coldest temperatures of this winter season are among us, which means it's very important to take a lot of extra safety precautions to avoid dangerous situations from happening.
Winds have been gusting anywhere from 5 to 40 miles per hour, making it feel much colder than the actual temperature. When wind gusts reach these speeds, winds accompanying the cold air will create dangerously low wind chills.
Exposure to cold can cause injury or serious illness such as frostbite or hypothermia. Physical activity, clothing, wind, working and living conditions, and a person's age and state of health may be a factor in illness or injury.
Always be sure to dress appropriately before going outdoors. The air temperature does not have to be below freezing for someone to experience cold emergencies. Layers are a great way to stay warm, but do not add too many layers as it could cut off circulation.
If you have to venture out, make sure your vehicle is stored with extra blankets and clothes. In case of an accident or break down, you want to make sure you have everything needed to stay warm until help arrives.
Wear waterproof, insulated boots to help keep your feet warm and dry.
Symptoms of hypothermia include confusion, dizziness, exhaustion and severe shivering. Seek medical attention immediately if you have these symptoms.
Frostbite warning signs are gray, white or yellow skin discoloration, numbness and/or waxy feeling skin. As with hypothermia, seek medical attention immediately.
Make the right decisions when the weather is bad, and if you do not have to venture outdoors, stay indoors and stay safe.