ST. LOUIS (KTVI) – Extreme cold like we’re experiencing the last few days is the type of weather that can kill.
Chance of heart attacks can increase over 50 percent. Arteries naturally constrict or tighten and can increase people’s blood pressure, as well as their risk for stroke.
St. Louis University Hospital cardiologist Dr. Michael Lim visits Fox 2 News in the Morning to provide warning signs for hypothermia, as well as cold-weather dressing tips for adults and kids.
The following symptoms are warning signs for hypothermia:
• Fumbling hands
• Memory loss
• Slurred speech
Warm ideas for cold weather dressing-for adults and kids:
• Wear a base of long thermal underwear (long-johns and a long-sleeved top.) Choose thermal underwear made from polypropylene, which is the thickest thermal material available-or wear wool or silk if you prefer natural fibers. Layer two pairs of thick socks to keep your feet warm.
• Add a second layer of fleece, down or woolen clothing. Thick fleecy pants and a wool sweater will add an intermediate level of warmth. Choose lightweight clothes that will not weigh you down, and avoid cotton as it absorbs moisture and does not dry out easily in cold weather, which means it could freeze in extreme weather conditions.
• Finish with a windproof and waterproof jacket and outer pants. Avoid outerwear with a loose weave that allows wind to get through. Choose a jacket with a hood to help protect your head. The type of outerwear you'll need depends on the type of conditions you're dealing with; dry cold weather requires different outerwear than humid cold weather.
• Add a scarf, mittens and a hat. Mittens offer more warmth than gloves because your fingers can touch each other and give off more heat. Wear a scarf over your mouth, which will help protect your lungs. Alternatively, choose a balaclava or a neck gaiter rather than a scarf; they will help keep your face warm, as well as your neck and lungs.
• Wear thick-soled boots to keep your feet warm. Pick a size that will allow for your thick socks. Look for a shoe or boot that has good traction, is waterproof and has a warm lining.
• To stay warm in the extreme cold, it's also important to stay dry. Even sweat can increase heat loss, so wet or unnecessary layers should be removed.