Friday, December 30, 2022

Preventing Frostbite


Last time, I explored what frostbite is and how you get it but today we are looking at preventing it. As stated last time, it is possible to get frostbite without the temperatures being super cold.  All you need is enough wind chill to take the temperature down to 25 below zero or being on a snow machine, ATV, or motorcycle and going fast enough to experience wind chill that low. 

Fortunately there are ways to help decrease your chances of experiencing frostbite.  First of all, you should dress in multiple layers of loose warm clothing because the air captured between the layers of clothing helps provide insulation.  Make sure to wear windproof or waterproof garments on top of everything to protect against rain, snow, or wind.  In addition, choose undergarments that help wick moisture away from your body.  Furthermore, change out wet clothing, especially hats, gloves, and socks as soon as possible.  

Make sure you wear a hat or headband that fully covers your head and ears.  Choose something made of wool or windproof materials for the most protection.  In addition, wear mittens rather than gloves because the mittens provide better protection.  If you want to, you can wear a pair of gloves made out of a material that wicks moisture away from the body underneath the mittens.  As far as socks or sock liners go, choose ones that fit well, wick moisture away from the skin, and provide insulation.  Think about using hand and or foot warmers but make sure the foot warmers do not make the boots too tight. 

When you go out, limit your time outside in the wind, cold, or wet weather.  If you are planning to go outside, check the weather report to see how chilly it will get and don't forget about the wind chill factor.  If you aren't careful, you can get frostbite in a matter of minutes.  When you go outside, monitor yourself for signs of frostbite.  Look for changes in skin color, prickling, or numbness and if you observe any of these symptoms, immediately head inside to a warmer place.  

Furthermore, do not drink alcohol because it makes you lose your body heat.  Eat well and stay hydrated.  Finally, make sure you move around when you are outside because movement helps you stay warm but don't overdue it.  The best way to avoid frostbite is to follow these suggestions.  Let me know what you think, I'd love to hear.  Have a great day.

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