SALT LAKE CITY (ABC4) – Well, it’s no secret: it’s cold outside. The Centers for Disease Control wants to make sure you and others stay safe in the cold weather.

First of all, what is the difference between hypothermia and frostbite? According to the CDC, hypothermia is defined as an abnormally low body temperature caused by prolonged exposure to extremely cold temperatures. Frostbite is defined as a type of injury caused by freezing that often leads to feeling and loss of color in the area it affects.

To make it simple, the CDC has released their top tips to help you avoid, spot, and treat hypothermia.

Here are your top tips to AVOID hypothermia and frostbite:

When going outside be sure to wear:

  • a scarf or knit
  • mask that covers
  • face & mouth
  • mittens or gloves
  • water-resistant boots
  • a hat
  • a water-resistant coat
  • several layers of loose-fitting clothing

When going outside in winter make sure body parts most often affected by frostbite are covered in warm, dry clothing.

  • nose
  • ears
  • toes
  • cheeks
  • chin
  • fingers

Here are your top tips to SPOT hypothermia and frostbite:


  • Signs & Symptoms
    • Redness or pain in any skin area may be the first sign of frostbite.
  • Other signs include:
    • a white or grayish-yellow skin area
    • skin that feels  unusually firm or waxy
    • numbness


  • Signs & Symptoms
    • Adults:
      • shivering
      •  exhaustion
      • confusion
      • fumbling hands
      • memory loss
      • slurred speech
      • drowsiness
    • Infants:
      • bright red, cold skin
      • very low energy

If a person’s temperature is below 95°, get medical attention immediately.

Here are your top tips to AVOID frostbite and hypothermia

If a person is experiencing hypothermia or frostbite…

  1. Seek medical attention as soon as possible
  2. Get them into a warm room or shelter
  3. Remove any wet clothing
  4. Warm them under dry layers of blankets and clothing
  5. Place areas affected by frostbite in warm-to-touch water

Frostbite Caution

Since skin may be numb, victims of frostbite can harm themselves further.
Use caution when treating frostbite and:

  1. Unless necessary, do not walk on feet or toes with frostbite
  2. Do not use a fireplace, heat lamp, radiator, or stove for warming
  3. Do not use a heating pad or electric blanket for warming
  4. Do not rub or massage areas with frostbite