The holidays, hot chocolate and spending time with family and friends are just a few of the things people like about winter. But as the temperatures drop, cellphone users should be aware that significant temperature changes, along with snowy and wet weather, could damage their mobile devices.

As people head outside, U.S. Cellular offers tips to help cellphones survive during the dark days of winter.

Avoid the winter chill. Temperatures below 40 degrees Fahrenheit can harm a cellphone’s battery life and run down the charge more quickly. If your cellphone is exposed to cold temperatures, allow the phone to warm up to room temperature before using it. It’s also a good idea to store a cellphone in a warm place and not in a backpack, an outside pocket of a coat or in a vehicle overnight. When out in the cold, carry the phone in an inside jacket pocket to keep it close to the body for warmth.

Protect the screen. Prolonged exposure to the cold may affect a cellphone’s display screen. The display cover can become brittle when exposed to cold temperatures for long periods of time, which causes the liquid crystals within the display to literally start freezing. If a cellphone gets wet from condensation, power it down right away and remove the battery. Grab a towel or some napkins to get as much excess water off the phone as you can. You should remove any skins, covers or faceplates. If you have a flip phone, open it up, so air can reach the keypad. Leave a wet phone powered down for a day or two to give the internal circuitry a chance to completely dry out.

Stay charged up. Phones should be charged daily, so that customers have sufficient battery life when they may need it. If driving, keep a car charger with you to re-charge on the go. If the battery starts to run out, some cellular companies, including U.S. Cellular, offer the option to switch out a dead or dying battery for free at any U.S. Cellular store through the company’s battery swap program.

Check the weather. With free weather apps, such as WeatherBug and The Weather Channel, travelers can stay on top of driving conditions and forecasts. These apps feature live radar, severe weather alerts and travel forecasts.