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The Ohio Federation of Republican Women

 
Women's Health and Safety
Chair: April Cohagen-Gibson,  The Muskingum County Women's Republican Club
Co-chair Cynthia BlakeFederated Republican Women Summit County
 
 
 
 
 

Health & Safety

February 2019

 

Winter months bring on different challenges for us, one of which includes the cold weather that we usually face during the months of January and February. The Ohio region is subject to varies weather conditions such as warm and rainy to cold and snowy. The region is not accustomed to the bitter cold conditions that we are experiencing. There is a health hazard that is affiliated with the bitter cold – Frostnip and Frostbite.

These conditions can be misunderstood and if left untreated, could cause loss of limb or even death. Frostnip can occur when the exposed skin is subject to windy and cold conditions. The most vulnerable body parts affected by but not limited to is – fingers, toes, nose, cheeks, ears, and chin. Do not make the mistake in thinking that only exposed skin could be affected. Covered areas with gloves, scarves, hats and thick socks can become victims of frostnip as well.

There are three (3) stages of frostnip/frostbite and the severity depends on how deep the skin is affected. The first or early stage affects the top layer of skin and will appear pale or discolored. It will feel numb and cold. The sensation to touch is decreased with a possible burning sensation. The second stage shows that the affected area is going deeper into the muscle tissue. The skin becomes tighter to the touch and appears waxy. Once the skin thaws, small blisters form on the affected area. The most advanced stage is the affected area goes into the muscle and bones with the skin turning hard with either blue or black coloration.

If you believe you may be affected in this bitter cold weather, there are steps you can take to recover quickly. Get out of the weather elements and remove any wet and cold articles of clothing. Run warm water (Not hot) over the affected area until you see the skin returning to a normal condition. At first, the skin may turn red, however, if you feel a bit of itching with pins and needles, it means the circulation is returning to the area. You may not have access to warm water or able to get out of the elements. When at all possible, use your own body heat. Place your hands under your arm pits or cover your ears, nose face with your hands. Do not rub the affected area as the touch sensation is diluted from the elements and you may injure yourself further.  If the above process does not bring the affected area back to its normal condition, emergency medical care is necessary.

There are ideal ways that you can dress to protect yourself from frostnip. Dress in layers that fit you loosely. This allows your body heat distribute and to get around. The first layer should be a material that helps keep you dry. The second layer should fit comfortably over the layer closest to your body and act as an insulator such as fleece or wool. The last layer should lay over all layers loosely and be wind and waterproof.

If you follow these clothing tips and limit your outside activities for less than 10 minutes, you will not have frost nipping at your nose.  Be safe and stay warm.

Respectfully,

April Cohagen – Gibson, Chair

Health and Safety

Ohio Federation Republican Women