Pennsylvanians Can Face Health Risks in
6, 2014 - Tom Joseph
Many areas across Pennsylvania could experience record-setting cold over the
next couple of days, and that means residents will be coping with freezing
temperatures, biting winds and leftover snow. Experts say many health risks can
come from cold weather, and Tuesday could see a number of cities and towns in
the state struggle to reach daytime highs in the double digits.
conditions, slips and falls are very common, and according to emergency room
physician Dr. Armando Marquez, it's important to wear sturdy shoes in the snow
or ice. Also, cold and moisture can contribute to frostbite.
most common areas are going to be your nose, your ears, your fingertips,
depending on how much time you are outside. But I would say at least 15
minutes: if it's freezing outside, it would probably take less than that."
Marquez said you can prevent frostbite through avoiding exposure to the wind
and cold when outside by bundling up, using layers and covering vulnerable
can be minor or severe, and Marquez said signs of it are redness, numbness or
warming your hands or your feet with warm water or a nice hot shower, that
should clear it up, but if you have a persistent numbness or tingling or
blanching of your skin, I would pursue medical attention."
said shoveling snow can lead to injury for some, so it's important to listen to
your body and not overdo it.
you're healthy and you're strong and you're used to working out, you're
probably going to be OK," the doctor said. "But be conscious of your
surroundings, whether you're hydrated or warm enough and you're not feeling
short of breath, you're not feeling any chest pain, you're not dizzy: you're
not any of those things, you're probably doing OK."
risk with exposure to freezing temperatures is hypothermia, when the core body
temperature drops. The Pennsylvania Department of Health says it can lead to
confusion, unconsciousness and even death. The Centers for Disease Control and
Prevention estimates there are about 1,300 deaths in the U.S. each year
associated with exposure to excessive cold.