FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. (KNWA/KFTA) — Local first responders say hypothermia is a real threat when temperatures get as low as they have been this week.

Kyler Harris is a firefighter for the Fayetteville Fire Department and says your safety is their top priority, and that comes with informing the public about the signs of hypothermia in these weather conditions.

“Be aware of the color of their skin, pay attention to their hands if they end up having a change of bright red,” Harris said.

Harris says the public needs to know that seeing signs of hypothermia isn’t always immediate.

“It can come on slowly so it’s not like it’s going to hit you at once and you immediately know what it is so just be aware of any changes to your normal setting,” Harris said.

Harris says there are several ways to prevent hypothermia in thirty-degree weather and below.

“Dressing in layers, wearing hats, scarfs, gloves, you have 30% of heat loss just through your head so wear a hat be prepared, drink fluids make sure that you have something hot to drink,” Harris said.

During winter days like this we know for most kids it’s tempting to go outside and play in the snow, but Harris says there are certain precautions parents should take.

“I would just say bring them inside in increments so have a plan of you guys can play for a little bit but we have to come back in, eat some food, hang out, and watch some TV for a little bit,” Harris said.

Harris says the most important thing to have during the brutal winter weather is a plan.

“Don’t just leave and then hope that you’re going to stay warm or hope that your car is going to stay warm enough for you, or think you have enough gas, have a plan,” Harris said.

These weather conditions will continue throughout the weekend so if you or someone you know is experiencing hypothermia, take them inside a warm place immediately and call 9-1-1 if their conditions worsen.