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Winter survival video: Detecting frostbite and tips for prevention

frostbite, prevent frostbite, cold weather safety
600 300 Survival Common Sense Blog | Emergency Preparedness

A common danger of cold weather is frostbite. Here’s what to do to prevent it.

by Leon Pantenburg

Knives Ship Free Delivers Direct

Frostbite can happen in urban and rural settings as well as in wilderness arctic areas.

The temperature was about -30 degrees Fahrenheit and the snow blew sideways. With windchill, the temperatures were an estimated -50 degrees F. Going outside was insane, but my brother, Mike, and I didn’t have much choice. We needed to deliver some desperately-needed food and water.

We bundled up and wrapped wool scarves over our faces so only our eyes were showing. Frostbite and hypothermia from the bitter cold was a definite possibility.  Mom ordered us to stay together and get back inside as soon as possible.

The arctic?

No, Iowa. And when you raise hogs, they have to be cared for every day.

Frostbite is not something limited to wilderness situations or rural areas. You could be in danger of frostbite if your car slides off the road during a blizzard. You might run the risk of frostbite in the shopping mall parking lot. The weather could turn bad on an after work cross-country ski trip.

According to the Mayo Clinic, frostbite occurs when parts of the body are exposed to very cold temperatures, causing skin and underlying tissues to freeze. Your hands, feet, nose and ears are most likely to be affected.

If your skin looks white or grayish-yellow, is very cold and has a hard or waxy feel, you may have frostbite. Your skin may also itch, burn or feel numb. Severe or deep frostbite can cause blistering and hardening. As the area thaws, the flesh becomes red and painful.

For more info on treating frostbite, click on Mayo Clinic.

According to the American Red Cross, protect yourself from frostbite and hypothermia by wearing warm, loose-fitting, lightweight clothing in several layers. Stay indoors, if possible.

Seek medical attention immediately if you have symptoms of hypothermia, including confusion, dizziness, exhaustion and severe shivering.

But the best idea is to avoid frostbite in the first place.

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