Health risks rise during severe cold weather

Tips on how to stay safe and warm this winter.
Published: Dec. 22, 2022 at 5:36 PM CST
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WICHITA FALLS, Texas (KAUZ) - First responders, postal, road and construction workers, these are the people who have no other choice but to endure severe weather conditions.

However, there are some tips for people to stay safe and warm during these rapidly dropping temperatures. The most important thing to do is layer up as much as possible, and a good tip is to have the outer garments water-repellent.

This is according to Doyle Rader, the regional communications manager at American Red Cross. He said wet clothes can make heat move away from the body, which can cause hypothermia or frostbite - both of which can cause long-lasting effects and even death.

“You’re going to lose blood flow and stuff in your outer appendages first and also your nose and your face. It can cause pain all the way to you losing a limb or a finger or something like that,” Rader said.

Rader said the amount of time a person can stay outside before they start to put their health at risk depends on each person.

“It could be a matter of minutes depending on the level of protection you take when you are outside so the most important thing is don’t go outside unprepared if you have to go outside at all. You can get hypothermia faster than you may think,” Rader said.

You should avoid exerting yourself too much, and don’t exercise outdoors right now as it can cause body temperatures to drop at a rapid rate. Mittens will also keep your hands warmer than gloves due to less exposure.

A warming center is available in Wichita Falls at 1809 Seymour Highway, Thursday and Friday from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. for those who may need it.