Kids and pets need extra protection in freezing temps

Kids and pets need extra protection in freezing temps

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BIRMINGHAM, AL (WBRC) -

It is important to take extra care of your little ones in the midst of these bone-chilling temperatures. University Hospital's Dr. Michael Anderson says kids are more vulnerable than adults during this cold weather.

"Number one: the amount of layers that an adult puts on, a kid should probably have one additional layer than what an adult would actually typically wear. Number two: we are worried because kids lose heat very very quickly. So, what an adult can tolerate, typically a child is going to become colder at a much faster rate," said Anderson.

Difficulty in speaking, drowsiness, shivering and confusion are all symptoms of hypothermia. Anderson says if you notice these symptoms in anyone, get them to a warmer place as soon as you can.

The low temps are just as dangerous for our pets. Veterinarian William Lamb at Vulcan Animal Clinic says dogs and cats can easily suffer hypothermia and freeze to death if they are left outside. Lamb says that fur will not protect against the frigid temperatures and animals' paws can develop freeze burns. Cats left outside may respond by climbing under the hood of a vehicle to stay rest on a warm engine block.

Dr. Lamb says if it is too cold for you, it is too cold for your pet.

It is just like you or I going outside without a coat on. They get cold and they can get hypothermic and they can suffer serious consequences. They can get frostbite, just like we do. I think it's a serious issue," said Lamb.

Very young and very old animals are the most vulnerable to frigid temperatures.

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