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Stay safe during frigid weather

Published January 06. 2014 05:00PM

Heating woes and frostbite are two of the hazards of the extremely cold weather we saw over the weekend and what we'll be enduring over the next two days.

On Tuesday temperatures are predicated to reach only 4 and wind chills could be as much as 30 below zero.

Heating systems

Lisa Hiles, of Hiles Brothers Plumbing, Heating, and Fuel Oil Co., Summit Hill, said many problems can be avoided.

If heating pipes are inside a vanity, open the vanity to allow heat to reach them.

If the pipes are in a unheated area, use a space heater to keep them from freezing, but use caution with the heater.

Make sure if your thermostats have batteries, that the batteries are working.

Use insulation of pipes exposed to the cold.


According to theMedicine Plus Web site, symptoms of frostbite include:

• Pins and needles feeling followed by numbness

• Hard, pale, and cold skin that has been exposed to the cold for too long

• The area may ache or throb.

• Lack of sensation; you may not feel it if someone touches you there

• As the area thaws, the flesh becomes red and very painful

Very severe frostbite may cause:

• Blisters

• Gangrene (blackened, dead tissue)

• Damage to tendons, muscles, nerves, and bone.

A person with frostbite on the arms or legs may also have hypothermia (lowered body temperature).

If frostbite is suspected, visit an emergency room or an urgent care center. Don't treat it yourself. Improper treatment can create complications.

Make sure children are bundled when they go outdoors, including their hands, face, and ears. Don't allow children to be outdoors for an extended period of time.

Check on the elderly, especially if they live alone, to make sure they have adequate heat.

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