Upcoming windchills are a risk to your health.
 
When the body is exposed to the bitter, winter weather for a long period of time, blood flow can be severely restricted. Poor circulation and extreme cold can lead to frostbite.
 
"When you get down to the temperatures well into the -20 C and those windchills in the -30 C or -40 C mark, frostbite is something you have to think about," said Environment Canada meteorologist Dan Kulak. "The average person will be susceptible to frostbite in about 10 minutes on exposed skin."
 
Frostbite generally occurs in body parts furthest from the heart.
 
Mild frostbite can be treated by getting to a warm room, wrapping yourself in a blanket and reheating your body with skin-to-skin contact with another person. Don't rub, massage or shake the injured skin because that can cause more damage.
 
Severe frostbite requires immediate medical attention. It can cause permanent damage to body tissue if it is not treated immediately. Nerve damage occurs and frostbitten skin becomes discoloured and turns black. After some time, nerve damage becomes so severe that you will lose feeling in the affected area. If the skin is broken and becomes infected, gangrene can set in which can result in loss of limbs.
 
Protect yourself from extreme cold conditions by wearing appropriate clothing, finding shelter and keep moving.
 
Consuming alcohol before you go out in the cold may increase your risk of hypothermia,  it increases blood flow to the extremities of the body. You may actually feel warm even though you are losing heat.
 
Tips on extreme cold weather, wind burn and more can be found here.
 

 

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