In current temperatures, frostbite a serious risk

Frostbite is when skin and underlying tissues freeze in cold, windy weather.  You’re most likely to develop it on your face, ears, fingers and toes.

The skin is first cold and red, then becomes numb, hard and pale.  It can also blister a couple days afterward.

The People’s City Mission says they’ve recently had around 13 cases of frostbite.

"There’s one gentleman…he’s at St. E’s in the hospital with a number of his fingers and in serious trouble," said CEO Pastor Tom Barber.  "And he didn’t even stay with us.  He came and tried to warm up and go back outside and it didn’t work."

He said he saw his worst case a few years back when a man at the shelter had frostbite so bad on his toes, they turned black.

"It really kind of unnerves you when you see it," Pastor Tom said.  "You realize being out in this kind of weather is really dangerous.  It’s life–threatening…but in addition to that, you can lose limbs."

Frostbite can happen to anyone, but Pastor Tom wants you to take a few minutes to help someone less fortunate if you see them outside.

"Even if they’re trying to panhandle or if you see them walking around and it’s a homeless person in this kind of weather—please encourage them, if you have the opportunity, to get shelter," he said.  "Come to the mission, or somewhere."

The best way to avoid frostbite is to stay indoors.  But if you do go out, wear several layers of clothes, a cap that covers your ears and cover your hands.  Even if all you have are mittens, anything is better than nothing.