Warning Signs of Extreme Cold Exposure
Even though it's only temporary for most of us, there are several hazards associated with winter weather. Spend too much time outdoors in frigid temperatures, and you might find yourself falling victim to the silent threats of hypothermia or frostbite.
Hypothermia happens when your body is unable to generate heat faster than it is lost. It is a particularly dangerous threat because it can affect you to the point that you're unable to think clearly enough to even recognize the danger. Hypothermia can set in at temperatures well above freezing when the cool air is combined with moisture, and there doesn't have to be any Arctic conditions.
Some common symptoms of Hypothermia include:
- Exhaustion, fatigue, drowsiness
- Confusion, memory loss, slurred speech
- Low energy and cold, bright red skin (especially in children and infants)
Hypothermia can kill, but frostbite is simply frozen flesh, making it more painful than hypothermia. Extremities such as fingers, toes, noses and ears are more likely to fall victim to frostbite. And while the onset of frostbite may be accompanied by numbness, the damage that results may be very painful. In extreme cases, the only cure is the amputation of frostbitten body parts.
The warning signs of frostbite include:
- Skin tone of white or grayish-white
- An unusually firm or waxy feel to the skin
- Numbness, or loss of feeling in an exposed area
It's much easier to avoid hypothermia and frostbite than to deal with the results. Just be alert to the dangers, and take precautions to avoid prolonged exposure when the weather is less than warm. That's much less inconvenient than dealing with the loss of a finger or a toe...or worse.
Check out all of the winter gear DiVal Safety has to keep you warm and safe from hypothermia and frostbite.