WACO, Texas — As we continue to see temperatures drop, many need to be careful with their health and safety. Cold weather can cause a number of injuries and illnesses to Central Texans.
“It doesn’t need to be below freezing to have cold related injuries and we see a lot,” Dr. David Kaylor said, a Emergency Medical Director at Baylor Scott & White Austin. “It just happens because of our inexperience.”
With temperatures dipping below freezing overnight, Dr. Kaylor says there are multiple types of exposure and weather related injuries and illnesses he sees in his emergency departments.
The first being hypothermia, where the body temperature drops below 95 degrees and stops making heat.
“You can get hypothermia above freezing,” he explained. “You know, hypothermia happens when our body is unable to make enough enough heat to keep up with, you know, the cold environment around us, so we’re actually losing more heat than we’re making.”
“That can happen at 35, at 40 degrees, depending on how you’re dressed and depending how you go into the climate.”
Dr. Kaylor also talked about carbon monoxide poisoning and heat burns – two other injuries they see when temperatures drop due to people heating their homes and cars.
But, there are ways to avoid ending up in Dr. Kaylor’s emergency room.
“You want to dress in layers, you don’t want to be wet, but you also don’t want to be overly hot,” he said. “You don’t want to overdressed, which is kind of interesting because you don’t want to start sweating because then you get damp and then you can actually chill off faster.”
“The second part of that lives can be saved by a fire detector,” he told Fox 44. “It’s that simple and most fire detectors oftentimes are multi use. They have both fire as well as carbon monoxide warning. Lastly, if you’re going to use any other, you know, stove heater your fireplace, just make sure you’re using it correctly.”
Dr. Kaylor finished by saying if you do experience any type of cold exposure injury, do not immediately apply hot content. Make sure to use luke warm water or blankets to begin bringing the feeling back.