Cold temps and wind chill increase risk of frostbite and hypothermia

(KFVS) - With temperatures across the Heartland barely creeping over the single digits, health experts want the public to be aware of the dangers of cold weather ailments like frostbite and hypothermia during this time of year.

According to Phillip Mills, an EMT with Life Line Emergency Services, current temperatures and wind chill could put you at risk of these conditions in as little as 30 minutes if parts of the skin are exposed. He says the main sign is losing feeling in exposed areas.

"Once you start re-warming, you're gonna notice pain where the numbing and tingling was," he said, "the skin will start to turn a white waxy color initially. If it's not treated go to the ER, because if you leave it untreated it could cause necrotic skin."

He also said in cases of hypothermia, victims will suffer from mental fatigue and slurred speech, in which case one should seek medical attention.

To avoid these ailments, Mills says the biggest thing to do is stay inside as much as you can. Other than that, he says the key to not getting frostbite or hypothermia is to wear as many layers as possible and most importantly keep your hands and feet dry.

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