Feb 20, 2015 6:21 PM

The health dangers of exposure to extreme cold


Granite Staters take pride in the fact that they can take on the worst winter has to deal out. But too long outside in very cold temperatures can do serious damage to your body, especially with high winds or if clothing gets wet.

Hypothermia is the most severe concern. That's when your body is losing heat faster than it can produce it.
Symptoms are:
- blue skin
- dilated pupils
- slowed pulse, breathing
- delusions, feeling hot when really cold
- loss of consciousness

Frostbite is a condition that damages your skin.
Symptoms are:
- numbness
- tingling, aching
- blue, pale, waxy skin

It's more common that people out for a short time will suffer from frostnip. That's a near freezing of the skin.
Symptoms are:
- pins & needles, numbness
- pale, cold, numb, stiff
- underlying tissue warm, flexible

Do's and Don'ts:
Don't rub the skin to warm it - you could damage tissue. Don't use direct heat to thaw frostbitten areas (a radiator, a campfire, heating pad, or hair dryer). Direct heat can burn the the tissue. Don't smoke or drink. That can affect your circulation. Do take off wet clothes, dry off, and if you have frostbite get medical attention.


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