Exposure to cold temperatures, wetness and wind can cause serious injuries. Proper prevention and recognizing the signs and symptoms of illness from cold can help reduce the risk of frostbite or the life-threatening condition hypothermia.
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Frostbite is the freezing of the skin and tissues underneath. It can occur when a person is exposed to freezing temperatures for too long. The severity of frostbite depends on length of exposure, the temperature, wind-chill and humidity.
It’s important to keep your hands, feet, ears, nose and face warm. Depending on the severity, treatment includes relieving pain and quickly rewarming the frostbitten area which can help prevent problems such as infection, dead tissue or amputation of the frozen part.
Hypothermia is a medical emergency that occurs when your body loses heat faster than it can make it. It can occur when you are exposed to cold air, water, wind, or rain.
It is very important to know the symptoms of hypothermia and get treatment quickly. Often someone’s body temperature will drop very low before others notice something is wrong.
Many factors can increase your risk of injury from exposure to cold temperatures but can often be prevented by protecting yourself outdoors while in cold weather.
Remember these things to help keep you safe from the cold.