Three things to know about going out in the cold - Western Mass News - WGGB/WSHM

Three things to know about going out in the cold

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SPRINGFIELD, MA (AP) -  With Arctic air moving in and wind chills expected well below zero, experts warn the extreme cold can take a toll.

On Tuesday, doctors at Baystate Medical Center in Springfield said the cold could pull body heat very quickly, especially on exposed skin.

Dr. Kathleen Kerrigan warned, as the temperatures drop and the wind speed increases, the exposure time from frostbite drops to just a few minutes. She said pink or red fingers ears from being out in the cold was natural, but a pale, waxy appearance or even blisters could be the sign of severe frostbite. She suggested frostbite victims seek immediate medical help to warm up the tissue correctly and prevent more damage.

The wind can also sap heat from the body if you aren't properly dressed for the weather. Baystate emergency medical services director, Dr. john Santoro said we commonly cover everything but our heads when the temperature drops. He stated we all lose heat from exposed skin and that includes our heads.

The cold can also take a toll on your car, specifically your battery according to Joseph Ferraro, vice president of  automotive AAA Pioneer Valley. He said the number of calls for battery issues skyrocketed when the temperatures dropped. He said it takes more energy to turn over an engine when it is cold and batteries work at a reduced capacity because of the temperatures. He said he added staff to take care of the expected rise in trouble calls.

He suggested having batteries tested to make sure they have enough life left to survive the blistering cold. Ferraro also expected calls for frozen fuel lines. 

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