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Cold Weather Dangers, How It Affects Your Body

(Photo by Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images)

Adam Lorch from the NNC always says it best when he talks about bundling up in cold temps. Just the other day he was warning that it only took 3 minutes in the weather we were having to get frost bite. I have looked up some questions and answers about cold temps.

From NOAA.gov

What is FROSTBITE?

You have frostbite when your body tissue freezes. The most susceptible parts of the body are fingers, toes, ear lobes, or the tip of the nose. Symptoms include a loss of feeling in the extremity and a white or pale appearance. Get Medical attention immediately for frostbite. The area should be SLOWLY re-warmed.

What is HYPOTHERMIA?

Hypothermia occurs when body temperature falls below 95 degrees Fahrenheit. Determine this by taking your temperature. Warning signs include uncontrollable shivering, memory loss, disorientation, incoherence, slurred speech, drowsiness, and exhaustion. Get medical attention immediately. If you can’t get help quickly, begin warming the body SLOWLY. Warm the body core first, NOT the extremities. Warming extremities first drives the cold blood to the heart and can cause the body temperature to drop further–which may lead to heart failure. Get the person into dry clothing and wrap in a warm blanket covering the head and neck. Do not give the person alcohol, drugs, coffee, or any HOT beverage or food. WARM broth and food is better. About 20% of cold related deaths occur in the home. Young children under the age of two and the elderly, those more than 60 years of age, are most susceptible to hypothermia. Hypothermia can set in over a period of time. Keep the thermostat above 69 degrees Fahrenheit, wear warm clothing, eat food for warmth, and drink plenty of water (or fluids other than alcohol) to keep hydrated. NOTE: Alcohol will lower your body temperature.
How to Dress during cold weather

The best way to avoid hypothermia and frostbite is to stay warm and dry indoors. When you must go outside, dress appropriately. Wear several layers of loose-fitting, lightweight, warm clothing. Trapped air between the layers will insulate you. Remove layers to avoid sweating and subsequent chill. Outer garments should be tightly woven, water repellent, and hooded. Wear a hat, because half of your body heat can be lost from your head. Cover your mouth to protect your lungs from extreme cold. Mittens, snug at the wrist, are better than gloves. Try to stay dry and out of the wind.

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