UTICA – Health officials at the Oneida County Health Department say the subzero weather that the local area is experiencing could be a risk to your health.
Public health educator Krista Drake says being exposed to the freezing temps could cause health problems such as frostbite and hypothermia. Drake says although anyone can be affected, children and the elderly are the most at risk.
"If somebody's in the prolonged cold, or even if they're indoors without heating, and their body temperature drops it can be a medical emergency,” said Drake. “Especially with the younger children. They don't know that their body is getting colder so they're not necessarily aware that, you know, there might be a problem.”
Drake says cold weather puts more of a strain on your heart, so it’s important to take it easy if you're doing outdoor activities such as shoveling.
“Move slow. Try not to lift a lot of snow at once,” said Drake. “It's better to, if you do have to remove snow, to go slowly and try to do it when it's still only, maybe, one or two inches so they're not lifting really heavy amounts of snow."
While Drake recommends staying indoors, if you have to be outside, remember these tips:
"Dress warmly and stay dry,” Drake said. “Have a nice coat, a coat with a hood or a hat. Something to cover their face. Make sure their hands are covered with gloves or mittens. Mittens are a little better, they keep your hands a little warmer, and really think about layering their clothes underneath. When it's cold like this, the windchill is something really that people need to pay attention to because they lose heat much faster with the windchill and their skin can freeze much quicker."