The first big snow storm of the winter season has arrived, and while the snow may be done falling for now, the temperatures are still falling.
That has doctors concerned about the potential for things like frostbite and hypothermia. It can only take minutes to set in.
The wind chill at times Thursday in the Quad Cities area was -30 to -35 degrees fahrenheit, meaning just 10 minutes
Doctor Todd Gray with Genesis Health says you’ll notice the warning signs of frostbite fast.
“If it’s minus 30, you’re looking at about ten minutes before frostbite sets in.” Gray said. “Initially, the area can be red and painful, which is the early signs that maybe something abnormal is happening … Afterwards, the skin turns pale and you lose sensation. so that’s the marker that you’re starting to have frostbite.”
While none of us here got frostbite, we decided to do a little experiment to show how quickly this cold weather can impact you.
Spoiler alert — it’s no joke.
After just a few minutes outside, the temperature of clothing stopped from around 80 degrees to almost zero. On skin, it dropped from the high 80s to readings around 50 degrees.
Watch the video above for the full demonstration.
So what happens if you are out for too long? Doctors say to warm yourself up, but carefully and specifically.
They recommend using warm water or body heat rather than heating pads or radiators and say to focus on one area.
“if you’re attempting to rewarm or warm yourself, I would focus on the core of your body, not the extremities,” Gray said.
Also, just keep shivering, as they say that’s your body’s way of producing heat. Make sure to stay hydrated and full on food.
“Make sure you’re eating and drinking enough so you can supply the energy to actually keep shivering.” said Gray.
Overall, the best advice is to just stay inside.
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