Chicago faces coldest day in two years

January 22, 2013 4:30:41 PM PST
Chicagoans- and their pets- bundled up on the coldest day in two years in Chicago, struggling to keep the subzero wind chills from stinging their skin.

Health experts warn that Tuesday's bitter cold temperatures could be dangerous- leading to frost bite for those spending long periods of time outdoors.

"You've got to stay warm, obviously you have to dress accordingly. Layering is good. In temperatures like this it doesn't take a whole lot to get frostbite. Frostbite can set in a matter of minutes," said Dr. Louie Hondros, emergency physician at Rush University Medical Center.

Chicagoans like Mike Kagge take that advice seriously.

Kagge works at his family owned newsstand. For more than 10 years, he has not missed a day selling papers to loyal customers in Edison Park- even when temperatures are in the single digits.

"It is no picnic weather out here but I figure you know, no work, no pay," said Kagge.

On Tuesday, he came to work dressed in Under Armor, two turtlenecks, a flannel shirt, three jackets- and some extra protection for his toes.

"For years, my only problem has been my toes but a couple years ago, somebody invented toe warmers- toasty toes- and I slap those on my socks and my toes are fine," said Kagge.

No matter how cold it gets- man's best friend needs to go out.

Fortunately, Kristina Isabelle's dog Ginger enjoys it.

"She seems to love it, I tried putting a sweater on yesterday, but she doesn't mind the cold," said Isabelle.

Not all dogs are so tolerant. Dog walker Karen Short's two Pomeranians can only endure a brief walk in these frigid temps.

"They don't want to be out very long," said Short.

Dr. Jerry Klein with Chicago Veterinary Emergency and Specialty Center says Short's tactic is a good one. He suggests moderate exposure to the outdoors for cats and dogs, who can easily get frostbite and hypothermia.

"Especially for young and very old animals who have been groomed or clipped down," said Dr. Jerry Klein with Chicago Veterinary Emergency and Specialty Center.

From pet care to car care

When cold weather comes fast, it's equally important to treat your car with respect.

"Batteries are always the thing you want to make sure is ok. Make sure that they're charged properly, make sure the cables are clean. You want to be able to get out somewhere and be able to start the vehicle," said Ken Kein with Hawk Ford.

Meanwhile, thoughts of warm weather are helping some Chicagoans get through the frigid temps.

"We do have it coming. Counting the days until Spring training for the White Sox," said Ken Sabala.