We've all heard warnings about how you can develop frost-bite or hypothermia by staying outside too long in the cold winter weather. But with tempertures heading toward the single digits, and even a ways below zero, a little too long is a lot shorter.
This time of year, we've forgotton all about it, but in the summer we say it's not the heat, it's the humidity. In the winter, we could say, it's not just the cold, it's also the wind.
"The big thing here is that the cold is going to be coming from the wind chill factor so what a lot of people don't think about when they go outside is that they need to have a wind-proof layer," says Dr. Megan Hess, a family physician at Blair Medical Associations in Altoona.
Dr. Hess says you need to bundle up, even for short errands, like letting the dog out, or getting the mail, because in just a short amount of time, you can get frostbite.
How do you know you may be in danger? Dr. Hess explains, "if your ears are really, really cold and really, really starting to hurt, and all of a sudden they don't hurt, that's a bad sign." You'd better get inside and warm up---it could be frostbite.
Your other major danger, hypothermia, can cause shivering, confusion, mumbling, and drowsiness. The CDC says hypothermia kills 1300 people a year.
Doctors say slow, deliberate warming is the best way to cure frostbite and mild hypothermia.