JACKSON, Miss. (WJTV) – American Medical Response (AMR) has important suggestions for avoiding, recognizing and treating two deadly cold-related illnesses: hypothermia and frostbite.
Both conditions occur even in areas known for warm weather and can be caused by wind chill and exposure to snow or wet conditions. As temperatures begin to drop, remember that exposure can be a threat to life and limb – especially for older adults, small children, the chronically ill and people who are required to be out in the cold for long periods. Each year across the United States, nearly 1,300 people die from exposure to excessive cold.
“To avoid hypothermia and frostbite, wear several layers of clothing – even indoors,” said Jim Pollard from AMR Central Mississippi. “Layers of clothes provide more insulation than one thick garment. When you’re outdoors, the top layer should resist rain, sleet or snow and have zippers for venting body heat if you become too warm.”
AMR recommends the following:
- Wear a stocking cap since 40 percent of body heat escapes through the scalp.
- Wear mittens because they keep hands warmer than gloves.
- Remove any clothing that gets wet as soon as possible.
- Check on older adults frequently because age and some medications alter the body’s ability to sense and adapt to temperature changes.
If you suspect hypothermia or frostbite, call 911 for help immediately. For more information, visit the National Safety Council here.