The warning signs of hypothermia and frostbite

Special Reports

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) – When bitter cold moves into Middle Tennessee, it can pose a threat to your home and your health. Knowing what happens when temperatures get below a certain point can help keep you safe. Hypothermia can kick in at temperatures that may surprise you. Here are a few things that you should know to stay safe when temperatures drop.

The first thing that you need to know is that wind can make things worse. Hypothermia can set in faster in windy conditions. Dressing in layers and covering the skin during cold conditions is a must. You should also take steps to stay sheltered from the wind.

The wind chill chart above shows how long it takes for frostbite to kick in with certain temperatures and wind speeds. The faster the wind, the colder it will feel and the prone you will be to hypothermia and frostbite.

There are a few tell-tale signs of hypothermia. If you are out in the open and start experiencing confusion, extreme shivering, difficulty speaking, start to become sleepy, or feel your muscles become stiff, go inside as quickly as possible to warm up. Hypothermia could be setting in.

Frostbite is another thing that you have to worry about in frigid weather. A sign that frostbite is happening is when any pain or prickling you feel is progressing to numbness. Your extremities such as your hands, feet, nose, cheeks, and ears, as well as any exposed skin, are most susceptible to frostbite. Another sign that frostbite may be happening is if your skin appears pale and hard and takes on a waxy appearance.

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