Staying safe and healthy in cold temperatures

Staying safe and healthy in cold temperatures

MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WMBF) - It's important you take these frigid temperatures seriously today, because they are considerably lower than what we're used to in the Grand Strand and the Pee Dee. Temperatures and wind-chills like these are not just uncomfortable, they can be dangerous, too.

Wearing extra layers is the key to staying warm and safe in this cold. Make sure you're covering all parts of your body, especially your extremities -- head, hands, ears, nose, and feet. Using the disposable hand or foot warmers is also a good idea.

It varies just how long you should be outside braving these conditions. Dr. Ronald Reynolds with Beach Urgent Care recommends you should not be outside for more than 10 to 15 minutes when we're experiencing temperatures in the single digits. Within that little amount of time, especially if you are not dressed properly, you will definitely start to feel that painful, prickly, cold sensation.

Being out in the cold doesn't guarantee you'll get a cold, but you still need to be careful. "The weather itself won't cause you to get sick," says Dr. Reynolds. "However, what can happen is the fact that you're in an environment that might drop your immune system and that can make you more susceptible to become ill." According to Dr. Reynolds, the best defense for keeping a strong immune system is to wash your hands frequently, get lots of sleep, eat healthy, and take some extra Vitamin C.

You should not have worry about frostbite Thursday and Friday, since we won't dip below zero, but hypothermia is a concern. If your body temperature drops below 95 degrees Fahrenheit, from being outside too long or not wearing enough layers, you need to get inside as soon as possible and bundled up. That will help get your body temperature back to a normal, safe range.

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