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NORTH TEXAS (CBS 11 NEWS) – If it seems like the freezing temperatures affect North Texans more than in other areas of the country, it’s partly true. While doctors say ‘thin blood’ is just an exaggeration, people in warmer climates tend to prepare less for cold weather.

Dr. Alex Eastman is the interim Medical Director at Parkland Health & Hospital System’s Trauma Center. “People in the north who are used to being cold, they plan ahead. They wear jackets and reduce their radiation heat loss by covering the head,” he said.

Increased exposure to the cold, even temperatures in the 30s, can increase the likelihood for cold injuries like frost bite and hypothermia.

“Construction works, public safety providers, people who have to be outside and don’t take all the necessary precaution, we will see cold stress injuries from them,” said Dr. Eastman.

At Timothy Johnson’s home, the temperature read 36-degrees Wednesday morning. Johnson is a driver for UPS, and a lifelong Dallas resident. “I can deal with the heat better than I can deal with the cold.”

But on Wednesday, it was not his own health, but his son’s that concerned him. Kieori, 10, experienced asthma trouble, because of the cold weather. Johnson does everythng he can to protect the child.  “We try to keep him bundled up.”

Kieori’s pediatrician at Baylor Pediatrics, Dr. Marjorie Milici, says the cold can be a shock to the body. The cold weather meant she saw a few young patients with breathing difficulties. “If kids play outside for a prolonged period of time, you need to make sure they have coats on.”

Hats and gloves are also important, to help retain the heat at this time of year.

Click here to find out more about preventing cold stress.

(©2014 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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