We didn't believe that suffocation, head injury or even frostbite could happen to us
We spent hours playing in snow forts, not believing warnings that they could collapse and we could suffocate. I would practice "figure eights" and spins on the skating rink my Dad made for us, until well after dark and all feeling had left in my toes, encased in the thin leather of my skates. Annually, my sisters and I shoveled a track down our snowy hillside and poured water on it, creating a course worthy of a bobsled. Practically airborne and helmet-less, we would sail down it on our toboggan, careening into the poplar trees if we veered off-course. We didn't worry about anything - we just had fun.
|My sisters and I with one of our snowmen|
"Frost Nipping at Our Nose … and Fingers and Toes"
During winter playtime, my hands were typically encased in hand-knit woolen mittens. These could keep fingers pretty warm, unless they got wet. Lugging overflowing pails of water from the house to our back hill to pour down our sledding run, I would also splash my mittens. Perhaps, had I not been so intent upon my task, I might have gone inside for another pair. Instead I would ignore the pain as the cold bit into my fingers. Finally, it would get too dark or dinner would be ready, and we would head indoors.
|Wet wool mittens!|
Eventually the pain would stop.
I had most likely experienced "frostnip" - a mild first stage of frostbite, that doesn't usually cause permanent damage to the skin unless allowed to progress to true frostbite.
Frostnip causes skin to:
- initially become reddened
- feel very cold
- progress to feelings of numbness and prickling.
- become painful and tingling when rewarming occurs
It is important recognize symptoms of frostnip or frostbite, and know what to do if they occur.
Immediate emergency medical treatment is important in cases of true frostbite.
Experiencing winter can be a joyful time for kids, but hopefully they heed the warnings and advice of their parents better than I did!
|“Marshmallows with hot chocolate”|
Do you remember hot chocolate before microwave ovens?
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