Staying safe when partying in the cold on New Year’s Eve - KCTV5 News

Staying safe when partying in the cold on New Year’s Eve

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File photo. (Associated Press) File photo. (Associated Press)

With near-record cold temperatures in the forecast, people headed to Power & Light to ring in the new year will have to take extra precautions to get 2018 started on the right foot.

Doctors who spoke to KCTV5 News broke down the health dangers that come along with this cold weather, especially when you add alcohol to the mix.

While New Year’s Eve is a time for celebration, you’ll want to do what you can to keep warm.

“You don't need an emergency physician to be able to tell you those things,” Kenneth Marshall, MD with the University of Kansas Health System. “It's the same things your mom would tell you. You want to wear layers of clothing. The more waterproof and wind-resistant they can be are important.”

Out at Power & Light, organizers at KC Live expect thousands to be in attendance.

“We have almost close to 60 heaters up top of KC Live and we're bringing in extra heaters,” Ashley Stout with the Kansas City Power & Light District said. “Definitely portable heaters that will be scattered throughout KC Live.”

Marshall pointed out that, with potentially record lows, it’s important to keep an eye on your friends and to be aware of what’s happening in your own body, particularly when it comes to avoiding hypothermia.

“Alcohol does things like make heat exchange or heat loss from the body easier, because it dilates the arteries and makes it such that, while you feel warmer in your throat and skin, that sensation of heat is actually the sensation of you losing heat to the outside air,” he said.

Marshall also pointed out that signs of intoxication -- flushing of the skin, stumbling, and confusion -- are also signs of hypothermia.

So, be safe, stay warm, and be aware of what’s happening all around you and, if all else fails, stay inside.

Related coverage:

BRUTAL COLD: Frigid weather in Kansas City to usher in New Year

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