Keeping warm and safe when temperatures drop

NEW LONDON, Conn. (WTNH) — Gloves, hats and hoods are now part of the winter wear seen on the streets.

“Well I walk and I take public transportation so I really have to be prepared,” says one woman who tells 8News sister station WTNH that she’s out in the elements a lot as she rushes by. “All the time.”

Bundling up could help keep some folks out of Lawrence & Memorial Hospital’s emergency room, where they expect to start seeing some cases of frostbite.

Richmond’s cold weather overflow shelter is open today to keep locals warm in freezing temps. Click this photo for more information.
Richmond’s cold weather overflow shelter is open today to keep locals warm in freezing temps. Click this photo for more information.

“The water within the skin can actually start freezing and that actually is what causes frostbite,” says Dr. Oliver Mayorga.

He says people should limit their time outside and cover up exposed skin especially on their ears, nose, fingers and toes.

“The first sign is actually numbness and if you look at your fingers or toes they turn white first but once you stop feeling them it becomes even more dangerous because then they can turn different colors and they may even turn black if you’re out long enough,” explains Dr. Mayorga.

The wind chill will also add to the dangerous cold.

“Especially like this where… a corridor and can get up fast like out there,” says Glenn Shippee of New London who describes how the wind can make the city feel colder. “I mean down by the water it’s just ohhh.”

He makes sure he wears a lot of layers. “I can go like six layers. But that was last winter,” says Shippee.

Folks also need to be careful when they fire up their furnaces to keep warm. Carbon monoxide detectors are a must. CO is an odorless and colorless killer.

Related: Risks to heating your home in the cold weather

“If you’re having headaches or confusion or dizziness or nausea that can’t be explained especially with people in your household as well. It’s a sign,” warns Dr. Mayorga.

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