How to avoid hypothermia and frostbite

By Caitlin Holmquist

Environmental Editor

As Public Safety has reminded us during this bitterly cold period, it is important to be dress appropriately and be aware of the signs of frostbite and hypothermia. The U.S. National Library of Medicine highlights the below as the signs of frostbite and hypothermia, and explains what can be done if one begins to experience symptoms.

Frostnip is the early stage of frostbite and signs include:

  • Red and cold skin; skin may start to turn white but is still soft.
  • Prickling and numbness
  • Tingling
  • Stinging

The early signs of hypothermia include:

  • Feeling cold.
  • Shivering.
  • The “Umbles:” stumbles, bumbles, grumbles, and mumbles. These are signs that your body and brain are being affected.

If one begins to notice signs of frostbite or hypothermia it is important to act quickly in order to avoid worsening symptoms:

  • Get out of the cold, wind, rain, or snow if possible.
  • Add warm layers of clothing.
  • Eat carbohydrates.
  • Drink fluids.
  • Move your body as strenuously as possible to help warm your core.
  • Warm up any area with frostnip. Remove tight jewelry or clothing. Place cold fingers in your armpits or warm a cold nose or cheek with the palm of your warm hand. DO NOT rub or submerge in hot water.