Health care professionals urge caution in cold temperatures

Related Story

COLUMBIA - Health care professionals say cold weather can be dangerous for people spending time outside. With cold temperatures this week, they gave advice on how to protect yourself from the cold.

Nurse Practitioner Jamie Basnett said for people who work for a living outside to make sure they control the amount of moisture their bodies are building up in their clothes. People should also wear plenty of layers and make sure to properly take off and put on clothing as needed. People should also not keep damp clothes on while doing work outside in the cold weather.

"It all depends on the activity, if you're not having a lot of activity you can unfortunately start to develop hypothermia a lot faster than, if you are. If you are doing a lot of access work for example snow shoveling, working in construction, you can end up sweating and then that can also, in turn, start to create hypothermia because of that wet moisture with them being in extreme colds," said Basnett.

Another important tip is for children, parents and people who work with children to check to make sure children's socks are dry while playing outside. It is easy to go unnoticed under shoes, while children are being physical or playing. Their skin can get sweaty even with the cold weather and make their socks damp which can give them hypothermia.  Parents or anyone around kids should make sure to be checking on the backs of children's necks and on their bodies for sweat, and to make sure or their feet aren't damp while playing in the cold.

Basnett also said the more layers the better, and people should make sure to wear the easily-forgotten hats, gloves, and scarves. 

A forgotten issue Basnett brought up is for the people shoveling outside of their house; some people are at a higher risk than others when it comes to their cardio health. Shoveling outside can be too laborious for some people with poor health especially in the bad weather. People who are shoveling outside could be at risk for a heart attack or stroke.