Friday, April 18, 2014

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Surviving the Cold

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Rochester: Surviving the Cold
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Bitter cold temperatures are still affecting this entire region.

Single digit and even sub zero temperatures mean that any time outside can be dangerous. Frostbite warnings are a reminder to everyone to take extra precautions outside for any amount of time.

Taking some extra time to bundle up is a must and should be for everyone. Doctors warn that skin exposure in this cold is a potential for frostbite and even hypothermia.

For most, staying indoors through this arctic blast is not an option. There's work and school to get to, and catching the bus means you will be outside.

Frostbite warnings are serious.

Doctors recommend everyone wear layers and waterproof boots outdoors.

Children under the age of 13 and adults 65 and older are especially at risk in the cold.

Doctor Bryan Gargano, director of the emergency department at Rochester General Hospital says in this bitter cold, he does not advise children go out more than 10-15 minutes at a time.

He provided some of the warning signs of frostbite. He says the first thing to pay attention to is a lot of pain. That burning pain that means you may be getting some injury to the tissue.

Gargano says when you go past pain and then get numb that means frostbite is setting in. At that point he stresses you need to go inside to gradually re-warm yourself.

"Number one, avoid it if you can. Number two, limit your exposure if at all possible. Number three, dress up and make sure you are as warm as possible covering those pieces of skin that do not get good blood flow; ears in particular and fingertips with gloves and your nose - there are face masks out there. If you start getting pain that is a warning sign; time to come in and warm up," says Dr. Gargano.

Hypothermia is worse. It means your core temperature drops and that can be life threatening.

Ultimately, remember to wear lots of layers. Also do not forget your pets. They should not be left outside.

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