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Give frostbite the cold shoulder
Temperatures and wind chills are expected to dip well below 0 degrees next week. That’s cold enough to give yourself the gift of frostbite in ten minutes or less. Even if there isn’t a wind chill warning, exposing your skin to winter elements for a longer period of time can still result in icy ears.
Frostbite is preventable and easily avoided by following these tips:
Dress warmly and protect your extremities (aka your hands, feet and toes).
Hands and feet are at greater risk of frostbite. Got a scarf? Gloves or mittens? Wear them all. If it’s cold enough, multiple pairs of socks will help your feet out if you’re waiting outside. Long underwear or tights work nicely as an extra bottom layer. Calculate your layers by how far you have to travel outside.
Wear a hat.
30% of your body heat is lost through your head. Want to stay warm? Wear a hat, it helps. Even better, sport a balaclava with it to help prevent a frostbitten nose. Bonus points if your hat makes you look like you’re winter camping in the North Woods.
Stay hydrated (with water).
Drinking fluids and staying hydrated helps the body fight off the cold more effectively. Alcohol will NOT warm you up. The warm feeling you get from drinking is your blood rushing to the core of your body—away from your extremities where it’s needed. Alcohol also causes your body to lose heat faster. If you’re going out, switch off with water in between drinks and dress appropriately–you’ll have a much warmer and safer walk home.
Be aware of the signs of frostbite.
At the first signs of redness or pain in any skin area, get out of the cold or protect any exposed skin. Signs which may indicate frostbite include white or grayish-yellow skin area, skin that feels unusually firm or waxy, or numbness. People are often unaware of frostbite until someone else points it out because the frozen tissues are numb. If you notice signs of frostbite, seek medical care.
Students can call UHS at 608-265-5600 if you have any concerns for yourself or someone else.