Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Youch! Nippy

…It’s not just mountain climbers covered by avalanches who get frostbite.

…The American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons warns against having just too much fun outside and losing a toe or something.

…Below 20 degrees F and the wind is 20 mph or more, the skin can get frostbitten in a few minutes.

….Hands, fingers, feet, toes and ears are especially at risk.

…If your skin feels numb or is hard or frozen and waxy or white, yipes!

…Dress appropriately, the docs advise. Light, loose, layered clothing. Top your outfit with a water repellent outer garment.

…Head coverings are important.

…Check yourself every so often for frostbite—if you are numb or waxy, get indoors.

…If you think you are frostbitten, get to a warm room and call for assistance. Drink warm drinks.

…Rest the bad areas—elevate feet.

…Warm up by immersing in warm (NOT HOT) water. The area may swell or change color.

…Do not rub on snow.

…Do not use dry heat like a radiator, heating pad or sunlamp. You could get burned that way.

…Alternate approach: Stay inside. Maybe a nice toddy.

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