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Freezing Weather Health

This winter storm Thursday, and the one this weekend, also pose health risks.

We spoke with health and government officials about some health and heating tips.

Sub-zero weather won’t do your body any favors, but one official from Mount Nittany Medical Center tells us the extreme cold impacts the health of some more than others.

Dr. Weldon Miller, a hospitalist, says people should be aware of two major things: hypothermia and frostbite.

“Once the body temperature starts to fall below 95 degrees Fahrenheit, then people start to have a little bit more confusion, start to lose some of their coordination. it really is a medical emergency, so you’d wanna try and have them checked out by a healthcare professional pretty promptly, as well.”

“You actually wanna be careful putting frostbit fingers and toes near a heat source because they are numb and they can actually go too far in the other direction and get burned and cause more damage.”

He mentions that the people they worry about most with these conditions are children and the elderly.

“So, for children in particular, they don’t have as much energy storage, so they can’t— their bodies can’t shiver for the same length of time that we can, and they have a bigger surface area for how much body they have, so they actually lose heat a little bit faster.”

Miller says the same generally goes for the elderly. He notes that younger kids might not be able to voice what they feel as easily as an adult, and he recommends parents keep an eye on their kids’ time outside.

Speaking of heat: Commissioner Mike Pipe says the Centre County government’s in “constant contact with” West Penn Power and First Energy to stay updated on “any outages throughout the county,” also to work with local fire departments and the American Red Cross if any warming shelters are needed.

“At this time right now, there are none that are set up, But again, as we go throughout today and tomorrow, that need may arise. as of right now, power failure has not been a challenge. It’s more on the roads.”

The commissioner also encourages people “to check on their neighbors and loved ones that they think may not be able to get out for supplies.”

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