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Watch out for signs of frostbite as temperatures continue to drop

COLUMBIA, Mo. (KMIZ)

As the temperatures continue to fall this evening for some in Mid-Missouri being exposed to the elements is a part of life.

Frostbite and hypothermia are just two of the immediate concerns when it comes to being outside in this cold for a long period of time.

The ABC 17 Stormtrack Weather Team is tracking extreme temperatures this week, as well as snow.

“Being outside, especially for an extended period of time especially when the temperatures are going to be below zero, the winds below zero can be pretty dangerous,” Dr. Christopher Sampson, of MU Health Care, said.

The cold effects the body in different ways but the most common effect is frost bite. Sampson said it only takes about 10-30 minutes for frost bite to set in.

"It might be just some pain in those areas, you might notice they become pale, if you start to have that the first thing is to get out of the cold," Sampson said.

If you are exposed to the cold and fear frost bite, Sampson said using warm water is important.

“(Use) warm water but not hot,” he said. “The danger is that some of your sensations could be not as great with the frostbite, if you put your hands in hot, hot water than you could potentially burn your hands."

If you are having continued pain and the area's color does not change back to normal, then it’s probably a sign you need to go to an emergency room, Sampson said.

The national weather service recommends dressing in several layers of loose-fitting, light-weight, warm clothing. Outer garments should be tight woven, water repellent and hooded.

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Chris Bryant

Chris joined ABC17 in April of 2021 as Chief Photographer.
A multi-award-winning photographer whose career has spanned over 20 years in broadcasting from television and radio and included over 60 individual awards for photography, reporting, and editing.
Chris has covered stories from hurricanes to the Super Bowl, the Kansas City Royals’ two World Series runs and stories from Florida to Utah and Arizona.
Chris is married and a father of four.

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