According to the National Weather Service, anyone outside during the Windchill Warning faces the risk of frostbite and hypothermia after only five minutes of exposure.
Signs of frostbite include red, white, gray-ish yellow skin that will also appear hard and waxy. The area will have a slightly painful, prickly or have an itchy sensation. The person who is suffering from frostbite will either feel like the area burning or it will be numb. The person might also be clumsiy due to joints and muscle stiffness. The most commonly affected areas are the fingers and toes, ears, cheeks, nose and chin. IF You think you have frostbite, it is important to make sure you slowly warm the area - do not stick your hands in front of the heater or take a warm shower. You should seek medical attention doctor if the area loses all sensation or has blisters and if you have a fever over 100 degrees after showing any symptons of frostbite.
Signs of hypothermia include mumbling or slurring of words, clumbsiness or lack or coordination, confusion, a weak pulse and shallow, slow breathing. A person who is suffering from hypothermia will not usually isn't aware of his or her condition because the symptoms happen gradually and because the confusion often associated with hypothermia prevents self awareness. If anyone you know shows these signs, seek medical attention immediately.
You can reduce your risk of hypothermia and frostbite by dressing right. It is important to layer up. Your first layer should be tight and include some wicking material or silk. Even though it is cold, you will still sweat. Your next layer should include sweaters, sweatshirts, a vest or a pullover. Your outer layer should be a shell and be waterproof. Do not forget to accessorize - wear a hat, scarf and waterproof gloves or mittens. In these temperatures, mittens are better than gloves. Also, layer up on socks. A pair or two of insulated ones should keep your feet warm. When you are dressing, look for polyester, silk, wool and nylon. These materials allow your body to breathe without losing heat.
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