How To Stay Safe From Frostbite During Dangerously Cold Temperatures

Wednesday, February 10th 2021, 5:44 pm
By: Anjelicia Bruton

Layering up with gloves and scarves is extremely important right now to prevent frostbite during dangerous winter weather.

Dr. Lacy Anderson with Integris Medical Group said it only takes minutes for someone to get frostbite.

“When temperatures drop around zero to five degrees with a wind chill, probably it can happen in as little as five minutes. At 30 degrees, it may take 20 to 30 minutes at prolonged temperatures, but it can happen either way,” Anderson said.

Anderson said the first sign of frostbite is when you start to go numb. She said she hasn't received a lot of calls pertaining to frostbite, but she's expecting that to change with more folks staying home from work.

“You know, if kids are outside playing outside these are the types of things that can happen or for people that might be outside working in the cold or for the homeless population. We really worry about those people they're sleeping out in the cold so we really need to get all those homeless people inside,” Anderson said.

In mild cases of frostbite, Anderson suggests running warm water over the affected area. When the blood starts to warm back up it may cause a burning sensation, but she said that's normal.

Another way to prevent frostbite is to stay hydrated.

In severe cases, where the affected area becomes hard and the skin feels frozen, you should go to an emergency room.