How to Recognize and Treat Frostbite

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RECOGNITION

First off, you’ll probably have been outside for quite a while and/or there are extreme temperatures. For this reason, you should go inside every half hour when it is cold outside.

SYMPTOMS

Physical symptoms are hard, pale, cold skin that turns red and tender as it thaws. This typically affects the nose, ears, feet, hands, and any skin that’s been exposed to the cold. It doesn’t happen right away, though; you have to have been out for a few minutes in extremely cold weather (I would say in the teens and below, Fahrenheit).

Physical symptoms are hard, pale, cold skin that turns red and tender as it thaws. This typically affects the nose, ears, feet, hands, and any skin that’s been exposed to the cold. It doesn’t happen right away, though; you have to have been out for a few minutes in extremely cold weather (I would say in the teens and below, Fahrenheit).

FIRST-AID

If you think you have frostbite, you should do the following things:

* Get out of the cold! This is the simplest, most basic advice, but not everyone seems to take it, and end up paying for it.
* Warm up the freezing body parts. If your hands are cold, tuck them under your arms. If you don’t already have a pair of gloves on, wear gloves! If your nose, ears, or face feel frostbitten, cover them with warm, dry gloves, or maybe try wearing something like a ski mask or balaclava.
* Avoid rubbing the area! This can lead to cardiac arrest, and I’m sure you don’t want that!
* If there’s a chance of refreezing, don’t thaw out the frozen body part. If they’ve already thawed, wrap them up; this will keep them from refreezing.
* If numbness remains while you’re trying to warm up, get emergency medical help. If you are for some reason unable to get it right away, there are a few things you can do. If your feet are freezing, put them in warm (but not hot) water. If your face, ears, or nose are affected, warm them by covering them with your warm, dry gloves, or apply warm cloths to them.

Tips and Warnings

  • If you suspect that you have frostbite, and your condition does not improve or worsens, seek medical help IMMEDIATELY.

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