Nichole Hannahs

Experts Urge Caution in Cold

by Nichole Hannahs on January 23, 2013 at 4:56 am

Temperatures are expected to be frigid this week with some days only reaching into the teens.

Those temperatures along with a wind chill can cause problems for those heading outdoors if even for a short time. Dr. Vicki Whitacre said that if people are venturing outdoors they shouldn’t be out longer than 30 minutes. That number drops to 10-15 minutes if there is a lot of wind. Dr. Whitacre said burning, pain and tingling in the fingers, nose and ears are some of the signs to get indoors.

"If they aren’t hurting and they look white to you instead of pink or red you’re in big trouble," said Dr. Vicki Whitacre. "You’ve got to go in and get warmed up."

Dr. Whitacre said shivering is also a sign that you’re in trouble. She has some advice for parents when taking their kids to the bus stops.

"You either need to be there with your kids in a vehicle to keep them from the wind or time it with the bus that they’re not out there much longer than 10-15 minutes waiting," explained Whitacre.

The doctor also suggests to remember to have a safety kit at home and in the car that includes extra blankets, sleeping bags and water in case of emergency and to make sure that alternative heating sources are well vented to prevent carbon monoxide poisoning.