How To Prevent Frostbite When It's Really, Really Cold Outside
Every winter there are a few cold snaps that cause the temperature to plummet. When it’s bitterly cold and sub-zero temps set in, it can be hard to motivate to go outside to ski, hike, or even walk the dogs. If you want to play in the great outdoors despite the cold weather, you need to know how to prevent frostbite.
Frostbite is an injury that is caused by exposure to cold. It causes your body tissues to freeze, typically affecting your fingers, toes, hands, cheeks, ears, and nose. In severely cold temperatures combined with wind, frostbite can happen in a matter of minutes. This isn’t meant to deter you from enjoying Big Sky’s backyard, but it is important that you are aware of this potentially serious cold injury.
Luckily, with the right prevention tactics you can still enjoy your favorite winter activities when it’s cold outside. The following tips can help you to prevent frostbite:
- Watch The Weather - Pay attention to the weather forecast. Watch the temperature, but also pay attention to the wind. Wind Chill can drastically speed up the time it takes to get frostbite.
- Dress For The Cold - When it’s cold outside, it’s time to layer up. Down jackets, mittens, hats, neck warmers, lined pants, extra long underwear, and warm boots are just a starting point. Put on more clothes than you think are necessary.
- Stay Dry - Being wet will makes everything worse. Wear layers that are waterproof and breathable to stay dry.
- Mind The Gaps - Frostbite will likely happen in the extremities and on exposed skin first. Cover up every bit of skin that you possibly can.
- Limit Your Time Outdoors - Go outside and play, but be sure to come inside regularly. Take more breaks so that you can warm up.
- Eat And Drink - Eating a healthy diet and staying hydrated can help to reduce the risk of frostbite.
- Move! - As soon as you start to feel cold, it's time to move. Moving will generate heat and help you to stay warm.
- Watch For Signs Of Frostbite - It’s essential to recognize the first signs of frostbite, which include, numbness, tingling, cold skin, pins and needles, white or red skin color, hard skin, and clumsiness. Pay attention to your friends and family. If you recognize any signs, go inside immediately.
If you get frostbite, seek medical attention ASAP. Contact Big Sky Ski Patrol or visit the hospital in the Big Sky Town Center. Frostbite is treatable if you catch it early. Learn how to treat frostbite at MayoClinic.org and WebMD.com.
Do your best to protect your skin against frostbite when you’re in Big Sky. With the right strategies in place to protect from the cold, you can enjoy the great outdoors in any weather.