With the extreme cold temperatures most of Iowa is experiencing, experts say it’s a good idea to stay indoors because frostbite can happen very quickly.
Medical experts say any type of exposure in severe weather like this can be damaging to the skin. Frostbite can set in within just minutes to unprotected skin.
Fingers and toes are generally the first to get frost bite. If you think you might have frostbite, you should gently heat the area with warm water or a warm blanket and get to a doctor.
The elderly and children are at higher risk of getting frost bite
“Children usually have a larger body surface area to their core temperatures they are more susceptible to it more quickly. They aren’t as well versed to how to maintain, they take their gloves off, their hats. Things that kids do make them more susceptible,” says Dr. Stephen Nowak, Clinic Director at Mercy North.
The Mayo Clinic advises wearing several layers of loose, warm clothing. Air between layers will act as an insulator, and an outer layer that is windproof and waterproof will help keep the heat in.
Mittens provide better protection against frostbite than gloves.
If you must go outside, limit your time of exposure to the cold.
For more information about frostbite prevention click here.