Frostbite is most common on the fingers, toes, chin, ears, nose, and cheeks since they poke out from the body. Frostbite can be a real concern if you’re planning on spending a lot of time outdoors in freezing temperatures. When frostbite occurs your skin actually freezes and can cause blisters or cause the skin to die completely. Here’s how to prevent frostbite when you’re in freezing temperatures.
How to Prevent Frostbite
Wear Hats That Cover Your Ears
Since ears are more susceptible to frostbite, it’s really important that they stay covered while you’re out in the cold. Wear a warm hat that has ear muffs or flaps attached to it. This will help keep your ears warm and help protect them from the wind.
Wear Mittens Instead of Gloves
Mittens keep your fingers warmer than gloves. Your fingers stay close together in mittens and allow your body heat to warm up each finger. Gloves separate each finger which keeps them isolated and more prone to getting cold. Having a good pair of mittens will greatly reduce your chance of getting frostbite on your fingers.
Notice the Early Signs of Frostbite
This is really important when you want to prevent frostbite. The early signs are red or pale skin, tingling, prickling, or numbness in extremities. It’s very important that as soon as you start to feel these symptoms, you look for warm shelter. If you cannot find warm shelter soon, it will be too late to stop frostbite from occurring.
Don’t Drink Alcohol in Cold Weather
Alcohol lowers your body temperature more quickly. If you know that you’re going to be out in freezing temperatures, don’t consume alcohol so that you can hold onto your body heat as long as you can. This is a good way to prevent frostbite because it’s a very simple thing to do.
Even though you might be tired and cold, never stop moving if you feel like you might be at risk for frostbite. This is a great way to prevent frostbite because the more you move, the more your blood flows. The more your blood flows the warmer you’ll be. Do jumping jacks, leg kicks, or just jog in place.
Wear Warm Socks
Toes are especially prone to frostbite. Wear warm socks to keep your little piggies toasty warm. When you want to prevent frostbite, wearing warm socks is a good way to go. This is also really useful when you are camping in the Winter.
Avoid the Wind
Freezing temperatures are bad enough, but if you add wind your risk of frostbite goes up exponentially. Wind chill makes temperatures drop and will cut through clothing that isn’t windproof and decrease your body temperature quickly. Avoid going outside when it’s really windy outside to prevent frostbite.
Frostbite can result in permanent feeling loss and in some cases loss of extremities and limbs. It’s very important to do these things to prevent frostbite when you plan on being in freezing temperatures for an extended amount of time. You will stay warmer, have less risk, and have a better time if you take these extra precautions to prevent frostbite.
Image Source: WRHA