The temperature is dropping and the snow is falling, it must be wintertime. While there are many great things to be said about this time of year, the weather conditions can negatively impact our bodies. For many, winter is a time for sledding, skiing, snowboarding, and playing outside in the snow, but while doing so there are precautions that should be followed to prevent an injury such as frostbite.

Frostbite is a cold-weather related injury that is caused by the freezing of body tissue. Exposure to cold weather and direct contact with ice or very cold liquids can cause the frostbite to occur. With added wind chill, it can even happen in less than 30 minutes. This is why it is so crucial for everyone to cover their exposed skin, especially the fingers, toes, ears, and nose. Frostbite can be prevented by following some easy steps before making your way outside.

First off, check the weather forecast. Avoid outdoor activities if you are advised to stay inside. If you must go outside, dress properly. This includes wearing a heavy coat, gloves, two layers of socks, a scarf, and a hat that covers your ears. If the winds are high, wear a ski mask to protect the skin on your face. Wearing multiple layers and tucking everything in will keep out the moisture, especially a wicking layer. If you own a windbreaker, wear that as the top layer. If moisture finds its way in, change your wet clothes as soon as possible. Last but not least, keep moving. Wiggle your fingers and toes if they begin to feel numb. The movement will help.

Listen to your body. If you feel pain or a tingling sensation, find a warm place to get your temperature up. Go inside, have something warm to drink and put on new layers if needed. Be safe this winter to prevent frostbite!

Did you know that you do not need a referrals for physical therapy? For more information call Advance Physical Therapy and The Physical Therapy Alliance (516) 568-4444 with locations in Massapequa, Valley Stream, Wantagh and Lindenhurst.