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Valley doctor gives safety tips when working outside during cold weather

Valley doctor gives safety tips when working outside during cold weather
4 months 1 week 2 days ago Wednesday, January 17 2024 Jan 17, 2024 January 17, 2024 12:04 PM January 17, 2024 in News - Local

While some can take a break from the cold, there are others who are essential.

If you work outdoors, the first thing that experts recommend is to be prepared and to make sure you dress in layers.

Experts say you should be wearing at least three items of clothing in cold temperatures. Whether it's two shirts and a jacket or a shirt, sweater and jacket.

Hidalgo County Health Authority Dr. Ivan Melendez says clothes that are better suited for the winter are made out of wool polyester and synthetic materials.

Workers should also protect their hands by wearing gloves, keeping their feet warm with proper socks and shoes, and also keeping their head warm with a scarf or beanie.

Melendez says if you have diabetes, hypertension or obesity, you'll want to be very careful this time of the year.

"If we're in cold weather, our blood vessels, they constrict. Why do they constrict? Because they want to protect the heat of the body. They don't want to release that heat. What happens when your blood vessels constrict? Your blood pressure goes up. What happens if your blood pressure goes up? Yes, strokes. So even in cold weather...we see the constriction of the vasculature peripherally contribute to hypertension, which contributes to other diseases," Melendez said.

During the winter months, the immune system can get weaker, meaning it's easier to get sick.

Melendez says when people are outside, they can develop a lot of mucositis, an inflammation of the mucous membranes that line your mouth and gastrointestinal tract.

Health experts say that's where a virus can live.

You'll also want to stay hydrated and drink warm fluids to keep your body warm.

Health experts also recommend to always listen to your body and take breaks, especially if you work in high altitudes.

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