HUTCHINSON, Kan. (KSNW) — The cold temperatures can impact many things, including one’s health.
Jessica Knight is a nurse practitioner at the Hutchinson Primary Care Associates, and she says being prepared is crucial, so your body doesn’t get to an unhealthy point.
Her first tip is to have a family emergency kit ready with food, water, and other necessities in case you lose power, and make sure you have the appropriate dry layers to keep your body warm.
One of the first signs of hypothermia is shivering, along with confusion and sleepiness. That can progress to numbness or tingling in the area that is getting frostbitten, leading to pain.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) suggests if you notice those symptoms, take the person’s temperature. If it is below 95 degrees Fahrenheit, it suggests you seek medical help.
Knight’s next tip is to check on your neighbors and family.
“It can be fairly common,” Knight said. “Usually, about half of hypothermia occurs in those who are elderly.”
The most common illness Knight says they see during this time of year is carbon monoxide poisoning.
Symptoms include headache, confusion, nausea and dizziness, especially if it’s happening to multiple people in the house.
“You lose heat, and that’s kind of a temptation is to burn fire or create something, especially someone who is low economic status might need some other source of heat, but if you’re going to do that, you can’t do that in your home,” Knight said.
Knight encourages people to make sure they have a working carbon monoxide detector.