Doctors give tips for staying warm in cold temperatures

Photo provided by staff.

POSTED: Wednesday, November 27, 2013 - 6:00pm

UPDATED: Friday, November 29, 2013 - 4:08pm

Some of you may be getting ready to stand in those long lines for Black Friday or even for some of the football games going on this weekend. Either way, make sure you're bundled up. With these temperatures, it's not just about warmth, but your health too.

"So when it gets really cold outside and a person's body is exposed to those extremely cold temperatures, their bodies can't work as efficiently as they could normally," Dr. Stephanie Awad, physician at Baton Rouge General, said.

It's almost time for the holiday season, and it seems just about everyone is out in the cold, but doctors said, be careful.

"People with chronic medical conditions want to be extra careful that they stay warm in this weather. For example, people with asthma, that can kind of bring on flare ups," Dr. Awad said. "So you want to make sure you stay warm, especially if you are going to be out there standing in those long lines that might even go outside the doors, where there's no warm accommodations."

If your body gets too cold, there could be dire consequences.

"Hypothermia is something that can happen if you get exposed to really cold temperatures, but some people are more vulnerable to the effects of the weather," Dr. Awad said. "I mean generally, that's when your body gets so cold it starts shutting down, but you'll usually have some signals before that happens."

However, don't worry, there are some things you can do to stay warm and to keep you and your loved ones safe out there.

"So put on the t-shirts, the long-sleeve shirts, the coats, the sweaters, use scarves, and gloves if you have to, and just try to keep as warm as possible," Dr. Awad said. "So, if you're going to be out there these next couple of nights, make sure that you are wearing your layers, keeping warm, and trying to drink some warm-fluids. Coffee, hot cocoa, and even soup."

If all else fails, just listen to your body.

"If your body's really telling you that it's just too cold, then get out of the cold," Dr. Awad said.

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