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Safety tips for the bitter cold from UPMC

With extremely low temperatures on the way, medical professionals want to make sure you stay safe while outside.

WILLIAMSPORT, Pa. — You may want to add an extra layer if you plan on going outside this weekend. 

The Stormtracker 16 team forecasts temperatures in the heading down near or below zero for parts of our viewing area. 

Medical professionals at UPMC Susquehanna in Williamsport encourage you to bundle up.

"We are not cold weather beings," said Annalisa Negrea, the injury prevention coordinator at UPMC Susquehanna. "A lot of people do enjoy cold weather, but we are not made to sustain cold temperatures for a long period of time, so we want to encourage people to dress warmly and in layers."

When temperatures dip this low, it is important to keep safety a priority.

Being outside too long in cold temperatures could cause frostbite and/or hypothermia.

"Increased redness, numbness, and swelling of the hands, fingers, and nose could be a sign of frostbite potentially starting," said Negrea.

One man in central Pennsylvania is getting his weekend chores done now because of the low temps.

"Whenever the forecast shows that it is going to be below zero, I just try to bundle up or stay inside. I mean, it's just too cold," said Patrick Nylander of Montoursville.

If you do venture outside, you should watch your step; ice and snow on the ground could cause you to slip and fall. 

"We have seen an uptick in falls recently, especially slips on the ice, so we want to put the message out there to be very, very careful," said Negrea.

Shoveling snow or working outside in this weather could be hazardous to your cardiovascular system. 

Make sure to take breaks if you are starting to feel over-exerted.

"People shoveling snow, especially if it is a heavy snow, can have chest pains or shortness of breath, that sort of thing," said Negrea.

Medical professionals say if you go outside this weekend, you should wear thin layers and make sure your extremities are kept warm.

Check out severe weather tips on WNEP’s YouTube channel.