During the bitterly cold temperatures, most of us take comfort in the warmth of our homes and offices, but may people around the mid-Missouri must brave the elements. For those who have to work outside, there are some serious health concerns.
“Anybody who needs to be outside in the cold weather for a long time need to cover up-they need to wear warm clothes,” said Dr. Leen Al-Sayyed with Boone Hospital Center.
Firefighters, construction workers, mail carriers are just a few types of workers who are outside for long periods of time in freezing temperatures.
Doctors said for those who have to be outside for long periods of time to try to periodically retreat to a warmer area. They said not doing so could be dangerous.
Prolonged exposure to cold temperatures could be a concern in a couple of ways – frostbite and hypothermia.
“Hypothermia. It affects the body, usually, people start shivering because they lose the heat. So shivering and then it starts to affect the body organs, if it’s prolonged, mainly, mental suppressions,” said Dr. Al-Sayyed.
Doctors said the common sense precautions keep people healthy in frigid temperatures: wearing a hat, gloves, warm boots and dressing in layers.
“If someone gets wet. That can make you lose temperature easily. So, you can take that one layer that’s wet while keeping the other dry ones that are in close contact with the skin,” Dr. Sayyed.