SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – These cold temperatures on the way can have a drastic impact on your health.

Cold temperatures pose serious risks to your health like frostbite and hypothermia, that’s why it’s important to know how to protect yourself from the elements. As temperatures drop, health risks rise. From less severe cold-related stress to life-threatening conditions like hypothermia.

“Your body generates heat, but not enough to keep your core temperature warm, and then your organs start to fail.” Dr. Brian Sutton, Medical Director, Baystate Health Urgent Care

The colder it is the faster hypothermia or frostbite symptoms set in.

22News Storm Team Meteorologist Chris Bouzakis says extreme cold can be especially dangerous among infants, the elderly, and pets. “If you’re outside for a long period of time, you can definitely get frostbite within a matter of minutes when you have temperatures that cold, and also the paws on your dogs or cats can also get frostbite.”

Symptoms of cold-related stress include shivering, changes in skin color in your hands and ears, mental confusion, slurred speech, and increased urination.

“When the body starts to near hypothermia, you go into a stage where your kidneys get more full and you have a diuretic effect.” Dr. Brian Sutton, Medical Director, Baystate Health Urgent Care

If you have to be outside in these really cold temperatures, health experts emphasize the importance of layering and bundling up. Practices that have proven to be effective during winter in western Massachusetts.