Weather Watch and Dressing for the Cold Weather
Winter is upon us and it’s important to properly dress for the conditions. Coats, hats and gloves/mittens are a must for students and adults to be outside especially when the temperatures dip below freezing. Remember that the wind-chill also affects the temperature. For example, although it maybe 20 degrees outside, if the wind speed is 10mph, it will feel like 9 degrees out! Not covering up exposed skin can lead to frostbite. Frostbite is an injury to the skin and the underlying layers of the skin that are exposed to temperatures below freezing. The most common areas at risk are the fingers, toes, nose, ears, cheeks and chin.
There are three different stages of frost bite:
1. Frost nip. A mild form of frost bite that causes the skin to pale or turn red and the skin will feel very cold. If the skin continues to be exposed, if will begin to feel prickly and numb. When the skin is warmed, it may be painful. During this stage the skin is not permanently damaged.
2. Superficial frostbite. The skin appears red and turns white or pale. If you warm up the skin during this stage, the surface of the skin can turn blue or purple. Sensations such as stinging, burning and swelling can occur during the rewarming of the skin. Even some blisters can form during this stage.
3. Severe (deep)frostbite. As frostbite progresses, it affects all layers of the skin. Numbness, loss of all sensations to the cold and pain usually occur. Large blisters form 24 to 48 hours after rewarming and these blisters then turn black and hard resulting in tissue death.
Wearing layers allows us to adjust to varying temperatures when going from the outdoors to inside and will help to keep us comfortable all day long. So protect yourself and your family by covering up any bare skin during the cold temperatures!