Another shot of bitterly cold weather will hit Wisconsin by this weekend. Wind chills are forecast to range from 0 to -10 through the day both next Sunday and Monday.
ReadyWisconsin and the Department of Health Services (DHS) are teaming up to warn people about the bitter weather and precautions you and your family should take to keep safe.
• Frostbite can occur on exposed skin in less than 30 minutes. Symptoms include a loss of feeling and a white or pale appearance in fingers, toes, ear tips and tip of the nose. If you see these signs, seek medical care immediately.
• Hypothermia (abnormally low body temperature) symptoms include shivering, exhaustion, confusion, fumbling hands, memory loss, slurred speech and drowsiness in adults and children. In infants, symptoms can include bright red or cold skin and very low energy. If you notice anyone exhibiting any of the symptoms of hypothermia, seek medical care immediately.
• If you must work outside, wear proper clothing for cold and windy conditions. Wear layers and make sure to cover your head, ears and hands.
• Overexertion is dangerous. Cold weather puts an added strain on the heart. Unaccustomed exercise such as shoveling snow or pushing a car can bring on a heart attack or make an existing medical condition such as diabetes, hypertension, or cardiovascular disease worse.
• Carbon monoxide danger: Breathing carbon monoxide displaces the oxygen in the blood and can cause death within minutes at high levels. Symptoms of overexposure to carbon monoxide are often mistaken for the flu and include headaches, fatigue, dizziness, shortness of breath/chest pain, nausea/vomiting, and confusion. If you or someone you know experience any of these symptoms, or your carbon monoxide detector sounds an alarm, call 911. Never run a gasoline or propane heater or a grill (gas or charcoal) inside your home or an unventilated garage. Any heating system that burns fuel produces carbon monoxide.