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How to Prevent Frostbite

 


 

Freezing weather is more than uncomfortable -- it's dangerous. Jack Frost doesn't nip -- he bites. Temperatures below freezing can lead to frostbite and hypothermia if people do not take proper precautions.  If you have to be outside during below freezing temperatures, here are some tips to keep you safe

What is frostbite?

  1. Frostbite occurs when skin tissue and blood vessels are damaged from exposure to the cold. Blood pulls away from the skin, toward the core of the body. It is the body's way of trying to keep warm. Frostbite sometimes presents itself with white blanched skin. You shouldn't rub it. You should get out of the cold, and let the affected area warm up on its own.

  2. If the area blisters, doesn't return to normal color or is painful, victims should seek immediate medical treatment. Areas with the least fat, like fingers, toes, earlobes and the nose are most at risk for frostbite.

  3. Its wise also to be wary of hypothermia -- a potentially deadly condition that occurs when the body temperature drops below 97 degrees Fahrenheit. If you are shivering in reaction to the cold, your body is still working. Shivering stops at 92 degrees Fahrenheit. At that point, victims have an altered state of consciousness and get sleepy.

  4. Victims should get out of the cold and let the body gradually warm up on its own. Give victims something hot to drink -- but absolutely no alcohol and do not let them smoke. Alcohol and tobacco work as dilators, opening the body's 'windows' to let heat out.

  5. The best way to prevent both frostbite and hypothermia is to stay out of the cold for long periods of time and dress in layers. A little known fact: cotton has no thermal value of any kind. The best layers are LYCRAŽ and silk because they bounce heat back to the body. Wool is perfect.

  6. As another rule of thumb, adults should dress their children with one more layer than they themselves wear and everyone should wear a hat.


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