Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Damn.......its COLD!!!

Brrrr.......Toronto is in the under a cold snap for the next couple of days.....damn that Arctic air!!!! My decision to skip Carnival 2Kwine is starting to weigh heavily upon me :-(

Anyway, do you know how to identify frostbite or frostnip??? I checked out for some tips on how to deal with the frosty conditions:


This is a mild form, where only the skin freezes. It can appear yellowish or white, but feels soft if touched. It's accompanied by a painful tingling or burning sensation.

What you should do

Warm the afflicted area gradually. Putting it under hot water or hot air could cause a burn - and you may not be able to feel it before it's too late. Try not to rub or massage the area, which could cause further damage.

Generally, frostnip isn't serious and is easily cured when you get out of the cold.


A more extreme form of the cold, it can have far more serious consequences. In this case, both the skin and the underlying tissues are affected, making your flesh look white and waxy and feel hard when touched.

But chances are you won't be able to feel those touches - the area usually goes completely numb.


  • Redness or pain
  • White or grayish-yellow skin
  • Skin feels firm or waxy
  • Numbness

What you should do

As before, gradually warm the area, using either body heat or warm (not hot) water. Beware of burning the skin, especially since you can't feel anything right away.

Avoid rubbing or massaging the affected area and if the sensation doesn't return soon, seek medical attention.

There are also other things you should know before medical attention comes along. Among them:

Put your hands someplace warm - like under your armpits. This will help get them back to normal temperature.

Do not rub the areas with snow. This is a myth and will make the problem worse.

Try not to thaw out if you plan on going out again right away. This could make your frostbite worse.

Remember, it doesn't happen often but untreated frostbite can lead to amputation if the damage is too severe.

Warding off winter

According to the city of Toronto, here's some other things you can do to prevent the season from getting the bite on you:

Maintain a heated environment (City law requires landlords to maintain an adequate heat level of 20 degrees Celsius/68 degrees Fahrenheit between September 15 and June 1 of each year).

Wear layers of warm, dry clothing, including hats and gloves.

Be aware of hypothermia (body temperature of 35 degrees Celsius/95 degrees Fahrenheit or less). Signs include stiff muscles, puffy face, slurred speech, shivering uncontrollably, slowed breathing, poor physical condition and mental confusion. If these signs are recognized, call 911.

Drink non-alcoholic beverages such as tea, coffee, hot chocolate or soup.

Some prescription drugs may increase vulnerability to cold. Check with your doctor or pharmacist.

Be aware of elderly and disabled people living alone; offer assistance if necessary.

Don't use your oven as a heating device. All space heaters are a fire risk if used improperly.


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