NEW YORK (PIX11) — Brutal, bitter cold is back again, with freezing temperatures and frigid wind chills expected to last into the weekend.
When temps feel like single digits or below zero, the cold weather is more than just uncomfortable, it can be dangerous. People are being advised to stay inside if possible, but if you must go outside, it’s crucial to bundle up.
Here are tips to stay safe during the extreme cold:
- Stay indoors as much as possible.
- If you have to go outdoors, wear dry, warm clothing and cover exposed skin. Keep fingertips, earlobes, and noses covered. Wear a hat, hood, scarf, and gloves.
- Shivering is an important first sign that the body is losing heat. Shivering is a signal to return indoors.
- Be safe at work. Workers who spend a lot of time outdoors are at risk for cold-related health impacts. If you are an employer, implement safe work practices, provide appropriate protective equipment, and train workers on how to stay safe during cold and winter weather.
- Limit alcohol intake. Drinking alcohol may make you feel warmer but it causes your body to lose heat faster. Alcohol also impairs your judgment, which limits your ability to take appropriate precautions or remove yourself from a dangerously cold environment in time. As a result, alcohol actually increases your chances of hypothermia and frostbite.
- Signs of frostbite include redness and pain, skin turning white or grayish yellow, skin feeling firm and waxy, numbness or tingling
- Frostbite treatment:
- Get warm as soon as possible
- Do not walk on frostbitten toes
- Immerse affected area in warm water
- Warm affected area with body heat
- Do not rub frostbitten area
- Do not use heating pad, heat lamp or other heat sources
A reminder that the brutal weather is especially dangerous for homeless individuals, infants, older adults and people with certain chronic medical conditions, like heart or lung diseases, high blood pressure and diabetes.