A dozen Waterloo students get possible frostbite - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

A dozen Waterloo students get possible frostbite

WATERLOO (KWWL) -  Waterloo Community School nurses have reported at least a dozen or more cases of exposure to extreme cold temperatures early Monday morning. The disctrict says some students may even need medical treatment for frostbite. 

The sub-zero temperatures, coupled with a wind chill factor approaching -30 degrees have created dangerous conditions for prolonged exposure to unprotected skin.  Waterloo Community School District spokesperson, Sharon Miller, says the disctrict contacted families of Waterloo students about the dangerous weather situation by  its telephone and internet alert system. 

Prolonged exposure to extremely cold temperatures may result in frostbite, which is an injury to the body caused by freezing skin.  Frostbite can permanently damage the body, and in severe cases can lead to amputation. 

The risk of frostbite is increased in people with reduced blood circulation and among those who are not properly dressed to protect themselves from extremely cold temperatures.  Signs that frostbite may be beginning are as follows:

Signs and symptoms of frostbite:

  • Redness or pain in any skin area, which will turn to a white or grayish-yellow skin area when frostbite has occurred.
  • Skin that feels unusually firm or waxy
  • Numbness - a victim is often unaware of frostbite until someone else points it out because the frozen skin tissues are numb.

What to do about frostbite:

  • Get in to a warm room as soon as possible
  • Do not walk on frostbitten feet or toes - unless absolutely necessary
  • Warm affected area by soaking in warm, not hot, water - do not use heat pads, lamp, stove or radiator.  Affected areas can be easily burned.
  • Seek medical attention as soon as possible.  
  • Remember - Dress warmly; protect all exposed skin areas and limit time outside.

Online Producer: JJ Murray

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