NEW BERN, CRAVEN COUNTY - With Eastern Carolina facing the coldest air the area's experienced in the past two decades, people are advised to take extra precautions to protect themselves and their loved ones.
While many will turn their thermostats up when inside their homes, health officials said it's what happens when you're outside that you need to be concerned about.
Health officials said a person's body, when exposed to cold temperatures, may result frost bite and hypothermia.
"I think the main thing is to wear plenty of layers," said David Tayloe, a pediatrician at Coastal Children's Clinic. "It's better to wear plenty of layers than one heavy coat because that helps to trap the body heat."
Due to the chilling weather, most schools in Eastern North Carolina issued delays for Tuesday morning. Children will be standing outside waiting for the bus, and Tayloe says it is important to be warm during that time.
"It's also important to keep exposed areas such as hands, feet and heads covered with hats because any exposed area- you lose body heat," Tayloe said.
Lijena Hickman has five children, all of which will be going to school later than usual due to the delays. Because Hickman is concerned with the low temperatures, she's taking extra precautions to make sure her kids are protected.
"My kids usually wait about five to ten minutes at the bus stop," Hickman said. "But I'm going to take them to school, and make sure I dress them in layers and prevent them from getting sick."
While Hickman is taking extra precautions, so are animal owners.
Edward Lloyd is one of them. He cares for 17 horses at Caballo Stables in Craven County. He said because of this winter weather, he is providing his horses with extra care and protection.
"We put blankets on them," Lloyd said. "We also give them warm water to help them stay hydrated."
Lloyd also closed the door to the shed where he keeps them, in order to block the cold air out.
Lloyd said animals are affected by low temperatures, and just like humans, they need protection.
Animal shelter officials suggest bringing your pets inside. If you decide not to, at least provide them with blankets to help them fight off the chilly air.
Other tips officials suggest you keep in mind are staying in doors as much as possible, keeping an eye on portable heaters, and having your gas tank at least half way full.
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