EMS tips to protect yourself from frostbite and hypothermia

Wind chill temperatures could dip as low as -20 degrees the next couple of nights, meaning the risk for frostbite increases exponentially.

The biggest tip is to stay inside, but if you can't, pack on the layers.

In temperatures as cold as these you'll need a warm sweater, a scarf, another warm layer, a coat on top, a hat, two pairs of socks and warm boots.

Experts say if you don't you could end up in the hospital.

Capt. Candy Blanchflower of Susquehanna Valley EMS says, "Risking your life or losing a limb isn't worth going out in the cold."

Susquehanna Valley EMS says when temperatures dipped a few weeks ago they went out on several calls for frostbite and hypothermia.

With it being colder tonight and tomorrow, they're even more concerned.

According to EMTs, you can start showing symptoms of frostbite after just five minutes of being outside, and hypothermia can also happen within minutes.

Hypothermia starts when your body temperature hits 95 degrees.

If your fingers or toes start to turn red and are painful, or if you body actually starts to feel warm when you know it shouldn't, these are signs you need to go inside and warm up immediately.

Officials are warning everyone to take these temperatures seriously, or risk frostbite.

"Frostbite usually affects the ears the nose the cheeks the fingers and the toes, its damage to the skin and depending on how much damage the limb could actually be cut off, amputated," says Blanchflower.

This is when you risk becoming hypothermic.

"That's when shivering and people tend to get dizzy confused lethargic and they're at high risk for dying in the cold," Blanchflower said.

When you do go inside from the cold, officials say to take your time warming up.

Put your fingers and toes in warm, not hot, water and wait for them to gradually get warmer.

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