Avoiding cold weather illness, injury

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DENVER -- Single-digit weather can be dangerous for people of all ages but you can keep your family safe by following a few suggestions medical experts say.

Be prepared by dressing in layers, combining fleece with a waterproof outer layer and cover your head to avoid losing body heat.

Kids should not play outside during single-digit temperatures. Medical experts said they're  more susceptible to hypothermia, so know the signs.

“If a child is blue or discolored, more lethargic or feels they can't warm up, it would be important to get them seen right away," said Guardian Urgent Care Clinic Head Justin Murphy.

Those who work outside in strenuous jobs, like construction workers, should be careful about exertion in the cold.

Doctors warn that physical activity may make you feel warmer, but your body is still vulnerable to damage from the cold.

Workers are advised to keep an eye on each other and watch for signs of frostbite or hypothermia.  One symptom is the end of the nose turning from red to white in those with lighter complexions.   Other symptoms include redness and dryness and a loss of feeling in limbs.

Frost can set in within 10 minutes of exposure in severe conditions.

Some fitness enthusiasts head outside for their usual exercise routine no matter what the thermometer reads.

Doctors said this is the time to re-think that and head inside for a gym workout instead.  If you do exercise outdoors, make sure you cover any exposed skin and wear insulated gear and shoes that will provide you with good traction.

Stay hydrated by drinking at least six glasses of water each day and avoid alcohol to prevent the cold from drying out your skin and lungs.

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