Colder temperatures increase risk of getting burned

The professionals at Doctor's Hospital told us every winter they see patients who burn themselves, by doing every day things trying to stay warm.

"As it gets colder, everybody wants to be warmer, obviously," said Kevin Lack, a physician's assistant at the JMC Burn Center.

But for some who are not careful, they may get burned.

"These disasters occur because of faulty equipment they're using or clothing being to close to space heaters or using accelerant to light any fire," Lack said.

At the root of many of the cold weather-related burns and fires is heating equipment. Officials say the easiest way to prevent this is by creating a safety zone around the heating unit.

"It is recommended that you have a safety zone, where you keep all combustible items at least 3 feet away from the heat source or the space heater," said Lack.

But getting burned by fire is not the only risk when temperatures drop.

"Your skin tissue can get frost bitten or freeze," Lack said.

Frostbite, which happens when body parts are exposed to extremely cold temperatures, can cause serious problems, even amputation.

"Early signs of it will be prickly feeling or tingling in your feet or toes - or face or fingers or ears or nose," Lack said. "If the body part is not frozen, do not thaw it unless you can keep it thawed and use warm water: 104,108 degrees Fahrenheit."

Medical professionals said you cannot be too cautious with burns or frostbite. If you have any questions about it, get it checked out. Often the earlier it can be treated, the better the outcome.

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