Tips to stay safe and warm in below freezing temperatures

LANSING, Mich. (WLNS) – When temperatures drop to below freezing just being outside begins to be hazardous to our health.

According to Dale Russell, a certified physicians assistant with Lansing Urgent Care, you can begin getting the early signs of frostbite within hours.

“Hands fingers and toes – they don’t circulate – so you don’t trap the heat in there so you can’t feel them and not being able to feel them means you’re going to be in trouble,” Russell said. “In this cold weather it only takes a few hours of exposure to make that happen.”

Russell says the biggest concern when we get into the single digits is cold exposure. But that cold doesn’t just affect your body, it also affects your mind.

“When you get really really cold, you dont really realize what’s going on and you start to think not so clearly. When that starts to happen you don’t really think that you need to get in or get warm, you can actually pass out,” Russell said. “Once that happens the cold is gonna set in pretty quickly and you’re gonna be in trouble.”

If you end up feeling those first signs of frostbite, Russell says the first thing to do is get out of the cold, then slowly start reheating your hands and feet and other affected areas.

But if you have a job, or do an activity, that puts you outside for hours at a time in the winter, the best thing to do is to bundle up.

“Having multiple layers definitely multiple shirts, coat, hat, keep your ears covered, scarf for sure, double layered gloves especially if you’re somebody that has to work in the cold, and then for every chance you get, get out of the cold so take all your breaks indoors,” Russell said. “Hot liquids, so hot chocolate, hot coffee…anything warm to keep the inside warm will keep the outside warm.”

Russell also said if you end up getting a flat, or your car breaks down in the cold, the best thing to do is stay inside your vehicle to keep warm and call for assisstance.

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