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Safety Tips To Prevent Hypothermia And Frostbite

Last updated on Thursday, January 15, 2009

(UNDATED) - With wind chills expected to dip well below zero and actual air temperatures in the single digits the risk of hypothermia and frost bit is high.

Methodist Hospital Emergency Room Doctor Ted Clark says the highest risk is among the homeless and people who consume too much alcohol out in the cold.

Symptoms of frost bite include numbness, loss of sensitivity, and a burning sensation. Left unchecked, a body part can be lost due to extreme frost bit.

Symptoms of hypothermia include uncontrollable shivering, weakness, confusion and slowed breathing. Left unchecked, hypothermia can lead to death.

Your extremities are the first to freeze. Layered clothing is recommended as well as limiting your time to cold weather exposure.

Dr. Clark says do not run cold body parts under hot water because it can damage skin tissue. The best way to warm up is "passive warming," which is covering up and giving your body time to gradually heat up.

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