With temperatures expected to dip into sub-zero figures today, we'd like to take this time to issue some warm thoughts to those who work outdoors.
It doesn't matter the profession - garbage man, cable installer, road crew worker, police officer, mail carrier, delivery person - because any type of constant exposure in these types of conditions can create lasting effects.
We first, and most importantly, urge these workers to take all the precautions necessary to keep as warm as possible.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention suggests wearing appropriate outdoor clothing: light, warm layers; mittens, hats, and scarves; and waterproof boots.
Work slowly, the CDC suggests, and always be aware of the wind chill factor.
According to weather reports, a wind chill warning is in effect until 1 p.m. today. Temperatures will remain in the single digits, but factoring in the wind will make it feel well below zero - as low as minus-17.
Too much heat loss can cause lowering of the inner body temperature to dangerously low levels, causing hypothermia, according to information available at laborworksusa.com. Frostbite also is possible if precautions are not taken. Everyone should know the signs of both hypothermia and frostbite.
It's best in conditions of extreme cold weather to work with a partner, the site suggests, because individuals don't often recognize their own signs and symptoms.
We urge all outside workers to check with their employers about safety measures their company may have in place. Follow them closely.
But we'd also be remiss if we didn't thank these workers for what it is they do - work outdoors, whether it be the extreme cold of winter or the extreme hot of summer. We applaud your efforts for providing us with the services we need.
Be safe. Stay warm.