Doctors offer tips on staying safe and warm in cold temps

CINCINNATI, OH (FOX19) - As the Tri-State braces for even colder weather, local doctors are offering tips on staying safe and healthy in the frigid temperatures.

Doctors at University Hospital say they haven't seen many weather-related injuries in the past couple of days, even though temperatures have dipped as low as four degrees. However, doctors warn that everyone should know about temperature-related illnesses, such as frostbite, dehydration and hypothermia.

"When that happens, it affects your ability to think, the way your heart works," saidDr. Larry Holditch, medical director at the Cincinnati Health Department. "It affects all the systems of your body which can shut down if you're exposed long enough."

Holditch says cold shelters have been full of people trying to find a place to stay warm, but he's not concerned about overflow shelters reaching capacity.

"We have about 90 people coming each day to our rec center, which acts as a cold shelter," said Dr. Holditch. "What we're telling people is that they need to get into a warm environment."

Officials with several area cold shelters say they are trying to utilize donations to give out coats, boots, gloves and thermal clothing if needed.

The Cincinnati Health Department and Centers for Disease Control have given several tips to stay warm and keep safe:

  • Limit skin exposure to the extreme cold and avoid extended periods of exposure
  • Eat well balanced meals with plenty of carbs and avoid alcohol
  • Wear proper clothing, such as a hat, scarf, sleeves that are snug at the wrist, mittens, and several layers of dry clothing, and layer if you can
  • If you suspect a problem with frostbite or hypothermia, should seek medical care. If body temperature is below 95 degrees, it is an emergency

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