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      Staying safe in the cold this winter

      It's cold outside and those bitter temperatures are already making their presence known in the U.P. But is this type of weather typical for this time of year?

      "It's nothing that we're not used to seeing for this time of year in December,â?? said Matt Zika of the National Weather Service. â??We do have to go back probably about five years since we've seen a stretch of cold weather like this at this point in December."

      Lower temperatures mean an increased chance for hypothermia and frostbite. The symptoms of hypothermia include: confusion, balance problems, changes in mental status, and shivering. Some of the symptoms of frostbite include: numbness and red or white skin.

      "If you have pain that persists for longer than five minutes after you go inside, you should seek medical attention,â?? said Dr. Jeffery Shipkey, Marquette General Hospital. â??Certainly if you have any of the signs of hypothermia, you should come immediately to the nearest ER."

      According to the National Weather Service, when you combine these single digit temperatures we have with the winds, you can get frostbite in less than 30 minutes, which is why it's extremely important to bundle up.

      "You lose a lot of heat out of your extremities, hands and head. So those need to be layered up as well. So if you're cold out there and you're not wearing a hat, it's time to put one on,â?? said Bill Thompson, co-owner of Downwind Sports.