Cold weather is well-known to freeze water, soil, inanimate objects, and even fingers or toes. One of the most common winter injuries is frostbite. While in certain survival situations, avoiding frostbite is absolutely crucial.
Frostbite is an injury from the cold that takes place when body tissues freeze. Some common body parts that fall prey to frostbite include fingers, toes, chin, nose, cheeks, and ears. Additional issues from frostbite include compartment syndrome, blood clots, and loss of feeling due to nerve damage.
Frostbite can manifest in a variety of levels. The first level of frostbite is evident with numbness, burning, or prickling pain which leads to swelling or redness. Eventually, the skin will tighten, harden, or blister. Later, the area will appear blackened or dry; worst-case scenarios consist of an inability to feel the affected area.
To treat frostbite, the affected area should be warmed immediately, or surgery might be recommended in severe cases to prevent sepsis or infection.
Preventing frostbite sounds simple, but it can be challenging to execute correctly. Since cold numbs pain, pushing through the task at hand is often easier than treating the condition. Ensure you have appropriate gear and supplies to keep your extremities covered. Layering your clothing is essential but only works if it’s in the correct order. First, start with a moisture-absorbing layer that will allow sweat to evaporate. Second, choose a fluffy, puffy layer that will trap warm air. Lastly, make sure a waterproof layer is what hits the snow, ice, rain, etc.
Don’t be afraid to throw in a hand warmer in your gloves or a foot warmer in your boots. These are invaluable tools when it comes to bearing the cold.
Frostbite is a severe condition that should not be undervalued or overlooked. Cold weather presents numerous hazards and creates survival challenges you might not be ready for. Do your best and prepare yourself – and your family – adequately by ensuring the cold won’t get the best of you.
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Written by the digital marketing staff at Creative Programs & Systems: www.cpsmi.com.