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What to know about cold weather and your health

January 24, 2013 3:57:59 AM PST
When it gets really cold outside, the kind of weather that chills you to the bone, you need to think twice about how you bundle up.

First layer-up! Extra layers trap in the heat and make sure you top off your warm layers with a hat!

Icy weather causes heat to leave your body more quickly, especially if you're not wearing a hat.

Of course, put on gloves and a scarf.

If you're not prepared for the bitter weather, one of the biggest dangers you face is hypothermia, which is abnormally low body temperature.

What makes it especially dangerous is you can't think clearly and may not know to enough to head indoors.

Symptoms also include shivering, slurred speech and drowsiness. A person with hypothermia must get medical care.

When temperatures go below freezing, frostbite can set in, usually on the nose, ears, cheeks, chin, fingers, or toes.

If you get frostbite, you'll lose feeling in the area that's affected. Your skin will look white or grayish-yellow and have a cold or waxy feel. Try to get inside quickly.

The first thing you can do is warm the affected area. If it's your nose, for example, gently cover it with your hand, but don't rub it. That will cause more damage. If it's severe enough you may need medical care.

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