Cold Temperatures Bring Huge Health Dangers

By KBJR News 1

January 19, 2012 Updated Jan 19, 2012 at 7:17 PM CDT

After record breaking heat this month...dangerous cold temperatures have now fallen on the Northland.

It is going to get even colder, and if you're not properly prepared, the winter months can cause some serious health problems.

It is going to get even colder, and if you're not properly prepared, the winter months can cause some serious problems.

When the mercury drops in the Northland conditions can be deadly.

"Tonight we are looking for wind chill readings to be in the 40-degrees below zero range," says Northland's News Center Meteorologist, Dave Anderson.

Experts say, in these cold temperatures...it only takes minutes to suffer frostbite, especially here in northern Minnesota where the cold often combines with the strong winds.

"With conditions like that, you have seven to 10 minutes at best before frost bite sets in," Anderson says.

And the effects can be bad.

"The skin can really get damaged in the extreme cold, so we recommend people wear hats and gloves, stay warm and stay protected. But if you are out for a long time and you do get frost bite, seek treatment," says Trauma Surgeon at Essentia Health, John Bollins.

Carrying extra clothing and blankets, along with warm winter boots and even emergency snacks in your car is extremely important when its gets this cold.

You never know when you're going to get in an accident.

Captain Matt Markon of the Superior Police Department says it's smart to be prepared for the worst, and when you're traveling always let someone know your destination and estimated arrival time.

"Always make sure that someone knows where you're going. Tell someone where you're off to, when you expect to arrive at your destination or when you expect to be back from the place you left from," says Captain Matt Markon of the Superior Police Department.

Captain Markon also said in these cold temperatures, it is important to check on elderly people you know to make sure they are all right as well.

Madeleine Robins at the Animal Allies Human Society says it's important to monitor your animals more closely during this type of weather, watch for them picking up their paws, watch for any irritation and get them inside as quickly as possible when you notice that behavior.

Written for the web by Danyel Piecek.
DPiecek@Northlandsnewscenter.com