Doctors reminding people to stay safe, healthy in freezing temperatures

PERRYSBURG, Ohio (13abc Action News) - Chloe Patterson, 16, spends a lot of time outside for her job.

"You're not out here for very long and you're in and out of the warm store, so it's really not that bad," said Patterson.

The Notre Dame Academy student works as a Carryout helping customers at Walt Churchill's Market pack their groceries and load them into their cars.

"Normally just taking someone's groceries out takes less than five minutes and then if you're getting carts or something five or 10 [minutes]," said Patterson.

Even though she spends those few minutes outdoors, Patterson still takes steps to make sure she's staying warm in the freezing temps.

"Normally I just wear a heavy jacket, wear gloves and sometimes wear a hat if it's really cold," said Patterson.

But sometimes people spend too long out in the cold and that can lead to complications for the body.

"Any numbness or tingling and also color change—if you get any purple discoloration or even pale colors to your skin—it's important to take note that something is going on and the cold is affecting your skin," said ProMedica physician Dr. Matt Rennels.

The doctor says if you find yourself in a situation where you've been overexposed to the cold, the best thing to do is get inside.

"Get yourself dry, get yourself back into a warm environment and if those symptoms persist, usually into the next day, it's important to get them evaluated," said Dr. Rennels.

While she plans to stay out of the hospital this winter, Patterson says her co-workers help make it easy.

"If you say that you're sick or something they'll definitely cut you a break and they'll give you what you need," said Patterson.

If you find yourself feeling the effects from a weather-related injury, you're advised to call your family doctor or go to the emergency room.