Temperatures have been below zero with winds that make it even worse.
The Director of Nursing for Floyd Valley Healthcare in Le Mars, Lorrie Mortensen, says frost bite is a real concern, and can hit you before you know it. She says it can occur in a matter of minutes if you do not dress appropriately, and any uncovered areas will be hit first.
Mortensen says the tissues start to freeze and the first symptoms are a cold prickly feeling to exposed areas such as ears, toes and fingers. “And then it kind of turns into that numbness feeling,” she explains. She recommends wearing mittens as opposed to gloves.
“Because you actually have the other fingers keeping them warm…when they are individually covered you don’t have as much protection as you do with a mitten,” Mortensen says. She says both the young and the elderly are more susceptible to the frigid cold temperatures, and they are likely to get frost bite before others.
Mortensen says elderly people may have decreased circulation and they often walk slower and are exposed to cold weather longer than others. Mortensen’s advice during these cold days is to “keep moving and bundle up.” Wear several layers of clothing, and remember wet clothing will bring on frost bite faster than wearing dry clothing.
(By Dennis Morrice, KLEM, Le Mars)