Did you know that prolonged exposure to the cold can become life-threatening? Frostbite and hypothermia are both serious health conditions, and hypothermia can be fatal.
Frostbite – damage to body tissue caused by extreme cold. A wind chill of -20°F will cause frostbite in 30 minutes or less!
- Signs: A loss of feeling and a white/pale appearance in extremities, such as fingers, toes, ear lobes, or the tip of the nose.
- Action: Get medical help immediately! If you must wait for help, slowly rewarm affected areas. However, if the person is also showing signs of hypothermia, warm the body core before the extremities.
Hypothermia – An abnormally low body temperature (<95°F). It can kill!
- Signs: Uncontrollable shivering, memory loss, disorientation, incoherence, slurred speech, drowsiness and apparent exhaustion.
- Action: Seek medical help immediately if the person’s body temperature is below 95°F! If medical care is not available, warm the person slowly, starting with the body core.