Brr! I was out running errands and it was actually painful! The cold, biting wind and freezing temperatures literally hurt!

My face and ears were uncovered and although I was just running from the grocery store parking lot into the store, I wasn't dressed for the frigid cold!

In fact, many of us forget to do that! I had to remind my 13-year-old that it wasn't sweatshirt weather! No kidding. She was headed out to school without a coat! Granted, she doesn't walk to school but it doesn't take long to be bitten. I'm talking about frostbite!

It can happen within minutes in the bone-chilling cold. Our skin (especially hands, feet, nose, chin and ears) are most susceptible to frostbite. We really need to make sure those areas are covered and protected!

If your child has to wait for a school bus - even headed out for recess and play - make sure they dress in layers!

In case you're wondering, there are signs. If your skin is red, pale or grayish, painful or itchy, it's time to go inside and get warm. If you feel your skin is waxy or hard or numb; if you're experiencing joint or muscle pain, that's another sign to get out of the cold! In extreme cases, blistering may occur.

In all of these cases, don't rub the affected area. Don't use direct heat such as a stove, fireplace or heating pad. They can cause insult to injury. They can cause burns!

It's recommended that you DO put hands and feet in very warm water. DO wrap the affected area in a dry blanket if you can. Call your doctor. Especially if blistering occurs.

Best advice: just avoid being bitten! Bundle up. It's cold outside!

About the Author...
Pat Persaud
Pat Persaud received her Bachelor of Arts degree at Morningside College, in Sioux City, Iowa, and majored in English, with an emphasis on British Literature.
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