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Holiday Safety: Tip No. 12

Take a look at these tips on how to avoid frostbite in cold winter temperatures.

The winter season often prompts a number of outdoor activities. Hanging up lights, cutting down trees, shoveling walkways and sled ridding all require extensive time in cold weather temperatures. The more time you spend in the cold, the greater your chances of getting frostbite.

According to Jordan David Co., a protective footwear manufacturer in Horsham, Pa., frostbite can occur whenever the ambient temperature falls below 32 degrees.

The danger of frostbite is increased when heat is lost from the interior of the body to the skin, to the layer of insulating air surrounding the skin, and finally to the ambient cold air. High velocity that blows away the insulating air cover, as well as wetting of the skin, hastens the outward loss of body heat.

If you plan on being outdoors for any length of time this winter, Jordan David encourages you to do the following in order to reduce the chances of frostbite injury.

  • Wear proper protective clothing to protect the skin surfaces most often injured by sub-freezing weather (i.e., gloves, face masks, jackets, hoods, boots and ear muffs).
  • Preserve natural defenses. It is important that your skin retain as much of the natural oil as possible.
  • Protect your skin. Use commercially available products that are designed to supplement the body's natural defenses against heat loss.
  • Eat right. A proper diet provides fuel (heat) for the body's "core temperature" that flows to body extremities.
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