Know the signs of frostbite before a wintertime outdoor adventure

Frostbite is caused by exposure to extreme cold for a prolonged period of time. Symptoms include the numbing of ears, nose, fingers, or toes; white or grayish-yellow skin is a sure sign. Frostbite victims should be taken into a warm place as soon as possible, and wet clothing should be removed. The affected area should then be immersed in warm—not hot—water or wrapped in a warm blanket. Do not rub the frostbitten area, as this may cause permanent damage to the tissues. When the area begins to thaw, the victim should exercise the area, to stimulate blood circulation. If bleeding or other complications develop, get to a doctor as soon as possible.