Cold weather today could lead to frostbite – Times News Online

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Posted on Jan. 11, 2022, 10:04 a.m.

With temperatures at dangerously cold levels, people would be wise to limit their exposure to the outdoors today.

Extremely cold temperatures are upon us and can lead to dangerously cold wind chill values, and anyone exposed to extreme cold is susceptible to frostbite within minutes.

Frostbite is the freezing of a specific part of the body such as the fingers, toes, nose or earlobes.

Signs of frostbite are a lack of sensation in the affected area; and skin that appears waxy, cold to the touch, or discolored (redness, white or gray, yellow or blue)

If someone has frostbite:

• Move the person to a warm place.

• Handle the area gently; never rub the affected area.

• Gently warm by soaking the affected area in warm water. water (100-105 degrees F) until it appears red and feels hot.

• Bandage the area loosely with dry, sterile dressings.

• If the person’s fingers or toes are frozen, place sterile, dry gauze between them to keep them separate.

• Avoid breaking light bulbs.

• Do not allow the affected area to refreeze.

• Seek professional medical attention as soon as possible.

Sherry Nealon, executive director of the Northeastern Pennsylvania section of the American Red Cross, shared tips for avoiding frostbite.

“To avoid frostbite and hypothermia, it’s important to be aware of wind chills and dress appropriately before going out,” Nealon said. “You should layer your clothes with gloves and a hat. Also, be sure to take breaks to avoid the cold.

Nealon added “If you or someone you are with becomes very pale or becomes numb in your fingers, toes, ears or nose, get out of the cold immediately.”

She said the Red Cross Emergency App is a great tool to keep on hand during the winter months. It’s free to download and provides real-time weather alerts and tips on how to stay safe in cold weather.

The National Weather Service warns that the areas most prone to frostbite are uncovered skin and extremities, such as the hands and feet.

Symptoms include cold skin and a tingling sensation, followed by numbness and inflamed or discolored skin. As frostbite worsens, the skin may become hard or waxy in appearance.

Hypothermia is another threat during extreme cold and occurs when the body loses heat faster than it can produce.

If you are going out, be sure to wear a hat or other protective blanket to prevent body heat from escaping your head, face, and neck. Cover your hands with mittens instead of gloves.

Avoid activities that will make you sweat a lot. The combination of wet clothes and cold weather can cause you to lose body heat faster.

Wear loose, layered and light clothing. Outdoor clothing made from a tight weave water repellent material is best for wind protection. The inner layers of wool, silk or polypropylene retain body heat better than cotton.

Stay as dry as possible. Remove wet clothes as soon as possible. Take special care to keep your hands and feet dry, as it is easy for snow to get into mittens and boots.

Today’s forecast calls for sunny skies, with a high near 17, northwest winds of 5 to 10 miles per hour, and wind chill values ​​as low as zero.

The weather should be generally clear this evening, with a low around 12.

Wednesday is expected to be mostly sunny, with a high near 35.

Thursday announces mostly cloudy skies, with a high near 41.

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