Lehigh Valley

How to protect yourself from the cold

How to protect yourself from the cold

SOUTH WHITEHALL TWP., Pa. - Lars Moe and his sister Anamaria hit the slope outside of Springhouse Middle School in South Whitehall Twp., Lehigh Co.,  for a day of sledding on Wednesday.

But it wasn't a long day by any means.

"About 20 minutes, it's very cold," said Nancy Werley, a South Whitehall Twp. resident.

"We are not out for a long day of survival skill training," said Chris Moe, Lars and Anamaria's father.

As Lars and Anamaria kept their eyes down the hill, Chris and Nancy kept an eye on them.

"When their cheeks get red, it's time to go get hot cocoa," Chris Moe said.

Warning signs of hypothermia, according to the Centers for Disease Control, include shivering, exhaustion, and drowsiness in adults. Warning signs for infants include bright cold skin and low energy.

Frostbite symptoms include white/yellow or grayish skin and unusually firm or waxy numbness.

The Moes plans to prevent those symptoms started well before the sled hit the ground.

"Warm coats, hats, gloves, boots for the kids," said Chris Moe.

But maybe even that's not quite enough.

"I think my ears are pretty frozen," said Anamaria Moe.

The CDC encourages wearing warm clothing to cover all skin, and removing any wet clothing immediately to prevent hypothermia and frostbite. The CDC also suggests limiting time outdoors.

The CDC encourages taking a person's temperature if they show signs of hypothermia. If their temperature is below 95 degrees, the CDC says the person should get medical attention immediately.

If medical attention is not available, the CDC has tips for warming the person showing symptoms:

Make sure the person goes indoors once those symptoms appear.
Remove any wet clothing.
Try warming the person with an electric blanket if available.
Warm beverages may also increase body temperature.
Keep the person warm and dry until medical attention is available.

According to the CDC, a person with frostbite should not walk on affected toes because it could increase the damage.

Affected areas should be immersed in warm water. Make sure the water isn't too hot because it could cause a severe burn, the CDC reports.

Do not massage or rub frostbitten areas as it could cause more damage, according to the CDC.

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