In bitterly cold weather, it is important to stay warm. Hypothermia begins when your body temperature drops just two or three degrees and can occur after just 30 minutes of exposure. Symptoms of hypothermia include shivering, slurred speech, then loss of coordination and confusion. This is a condition worse than frostbite and should be treated as soon as it becomes noticeable.
Frostnip, the least severe form of frostbite, affects areas that are exposed to the cold such as cheeks, nose, ears, fingers, and toes, leaving them red and numb or tingly. Frostnip can be treated at home by immersing the chilled body parts in warm (not hot) water or use washcloths soaked in warm water, for 20 to 30 minutes until all sensation returns. Call your doctor if sensation does not return or there are signs of frostbite. One sign of frostbite is when flesh becomes red and very painful as it thaws.