Frigid temperatures cause frostbite concerns - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Frigid temperatures cause frostbite concerns

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WAVERLY (KWWL) -

These frigid temperatures can do real damage to your skin, if exposed for too long.

That's why you need to pay attention to the signs of frostbite.

When the temperatures get this cold, you don't want to take a chance that you might lose your fingers or toes.

Make sure you have plenty of layers on - including for your fingers and toes.

Dave Petersen covers about 10 miles on his daily postal route in Waverly.

The longtime letter carrier actually prefers the cold weather.

"When it's hot and miserable out, you're hot and miserable. There's nothing you can really do about that," said Petersen.

In these cold temperatures, he bundles up.

It's part of the job.

"Dress in layers. Warm, dry boots keep the feet dry. You want to keep your head warm and your hands. Insulated gloves are good. Mittens keep your fingers warm," said Petersen.

And with it being November, there are plenty more Arctic blasts to deal with.

14 degrees and snow may feel balmy compared to some time in January or February.

What should you look for if you think you may have the beginning stages of frostbite?

Numbness in the cold.

When you warm up, a pins and needles sensation, severe pain, itching, and burning are all common.

Your skin may discolor and may feel hard, waxy, and numb.

That's when you'll want to see a medical professional.

As for Petersen, he's had some close calls in his 15 years on the job.

"There's been a couple of times it's been close then we just take a break, we go warm ourselves up and then come back out again," said Petersen.

Monday, Covenant Medical Center in Waterloo treated a man for frostbite.

It's also treated 11 people in weather-related car crashes over the weekend and one person who had cardiac arrest while shoveling Sunday.

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