Freezing temps forcing residents inside for holidays - where other hazards lie
BATON ROUGE - South Louisianans are used to avoiding the heat, and doctors say that same instinct can protect you from the cold.
"I would minimize being out there for longer than 30 minutes. Certainly bring blankets, sweaters. Keep yourself as warm as possible and stay indoors during these cold times," said Dr. William Kellum with Baton Rouge General.
Paramedics are getting ready to deal with the folks who don't heed this warning.
"As far as our department is concerned, it's pretty much normal operations as of now, unless things change, but we are just preparing by putting extra blankets and warmers on the ambulances. Making sure our units are ready to go and operational," said Brad Harris with EMS.
The Arctic chill will be driving us inside this weekend, where many will gather with family for the holidays.
"As the holiday season approaches, people are going to be gathering more. We have the cold weather on our doorstep and family are going to be in large and small groups. We are seeing a rise in viral cases throughout the community and as we get close to one another we do increase the risk of spreading those pathogens," Kellum said.
Kellum says washing hands frequently, covering coughs and sneezes, and getting tested if you're feeling bad are important, particularly if you plan on gathering with children who may have been exposed.
"Keep them away from our other patients that may be at risk such as the elderly, our grandparents, patients older than 65 or patients with chronic medical conditions."
However, if you do need to be outside for longer than the 30 minute grace period - bundle up
"Make sure that all of your skin is covered, not exposed to the elements. That way you won't have to risk any kind of wind chill or windburn, frostbite, anything like that," Harris said.
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