Local physicians urge caution with prolonged cold weather exposure

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NEW BERN, N.C. (WITN) - The winter weather we're seeing can be a nightmare for drivers but it can also be a lot of fun to play in.

If you are going to be outside enjoying the winter wonderland around Eastern Carolina, physicians say there are few things you should be aware of to avoid any cold weather injuries.

Hypothermia and frostbite are two of the biggest problems for people when we see extremely cold weather.

Medical experts say to make sure you have plenty of layers of clothing and waterproof shoes, in addition to warm coats, gloves, scarves, and hats.

Their biggest piece of advice is to listen to your body and take time to warm up because hypothermia can overcome people quickly.

"If you're not dressed for the weather it can be very quickly, usually within an hour you can have symptoms of hypothermia, especially if you get wet, you get in the snow and you get wet, you'll lose a lot of body heat through wet clothing," explains EMS Medical Director Dr. Stanley Koontz.

Medical staff at CarolinaEast Medical Center says they have already seen some patients coming in with weather-related issues and expect to see more this weekend.