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Ways to keep yourself safe in the dangerous cold

Posted at 2:32 PM, Jan 28, 2019
and last updated 2019-01-28 15:33:44-05

OMAHA, Neb. (KMTV) — The Douglas County Health Department has a few tips and suggestions to stay safe in the dangerous cold.

Life-threatening wind chills are in the forecast for Douglas County this week.

County health leaders ask that you plan ahead and avoid traveling or being outdoors if possible.

“The conditions that have been forecast can lead to death or life-altering injury,” Douglas County Health Director Dr. Adi Pour said. “With below-zero temperatures in the forecast and double-digit below zero winds chills, I ask you to do more than the usual to protect yourself.”

According to the health department, people should bundle up in layers, particularly loose-fitting clothes and limit time outside.
It's essential to cover ears, face, and hands.
Wearing gloves, a hat, thermal socks and waterproof boots will help you stay warm.

Frostbite is a real danger. Protect yourself and act quickly if:
· You see any signs of redness or experience pain in any skin area.
· You see white or grayish-yellow skin area with an unusual feel.
· Pay attention if someone points out those conditions.

If you suspect frostbite, use body heat to warm fingers and hands, warm but not hot water, and do not rub injured areas with snow or massage them at all.
That will cause more damage.
If your feet or toes are affected, do not walk on them if possible.

Hypothermia may result from exposure and you should seek medical attention if:
· You or someone you see experiences shivering, exhaustion, confusion, or fumbling hands.
· Slurred speech and drowsiness are other symptoms, and babies may have bright red skin.

Hypothermia is considered a serious medical condition and requires emergency medical assistance.

Check on the elderly and infants as they're the greatest danger of suffering serious injury in the cold.
Avoid portable heating devices that are powered by combustible fuel.
If you must travel, tell friends your planned route and keep a cell phone close and keep it charged.

“These suggestions can keep you alive. It takes only a few minutes for cold like this to cause a case of frostbite," Dr. Pour said.