WTVO Stateline Rockford: Dr. Brian Jokhy discusses how to stay warm while working outdoors in extreme temps

ROCKFORD, Ill. (WTVO) — The average temperature for November 12th is 50°, but on Tuesday, the mercury didn’t raise out of the teens, which can be dangerous to people who have to work outside.

If skin is not protected and covered, frostbite and permanent damage can result.

Tyler Haynes, a mail carrier for the U.S. Postal Service, says he tries his best to keep warm, using “hand warmers and just sitting in my truck with the heat on, so if I need to warm up, if it gets too cold, I’ll just take a little break.”

Dr. Brian Jokhy, an emergency physician at Mercyhealth Javon Bea Hospital Riverside says people who are outside in the cold need to make sure they pay attention to the advance forecast.

“People who work outside need to definitely make sure they are wearing the appropriate gear,” he said. “I think it’s important for them to take more frequent breaks to be able to go inside, or in their vehicle, to warm up.”

With single digit temperatures expected again this week, Dr. Jokhy says for people working in the cold, the key is to cover the head and hands to prevent lifelong damage.

“What happens is that your body tends to want to decrease the circulation to those areas, to preserve it more to your core and your center, therefore, it’s going to be more subjected to damage from the cold,” he said.

Dr. Jokhy also dispelled a myth, saying that cold weather does not cause the common cold, which is spread from person to person by someone who is already sick.

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