What a Difference a Week Makes
LAKE AREA- It's one of those unwritten laws of journalism that as soon as a paper publishes a cover about how uncannily warm it is for January-as we did last week-the next week will plunge into a deep freeze. Well, this week's no exception, as Dan Hibbler, custodian of the Thornville Methodist Church, knows. He was shoveling snow Tuesday afternoon, following a week that crept toward 70 degrees. Temperatures are forecast to dip into the single digits over the weekend as Buckeye Lake slowly freezes over.T
he deep freeze still wasn't enough to stop some people from enjoying the lake. There's always plenty to do, but watch for frostbite! Believe it or not, According to a story by John Schwieder, a flight paramedic and an instructor with Wilderness Medical Associates, rubbing frozen skin with snow and ice was the standard treatment for frostbite until the 1950s. Baron de Larrey, a surgeon for Napoleon's army during the invasion of Russia in the winter of 1812 - 1813, watched as soldiers thawed frozen hands and feet over blazing fires only to freeze them all over again during the next day's march. He concluded that heat was bad for frostbite. He was partially correct, says Schwieder. Direct heat from fires does not afford the best outcome. Even worse was thawing then refreezing of skin.
Prevention, of course, is the best way to avoid frostbite. Schwieder says the best way to prevent frostbite is to ensure optimum heat production and conservation of that heat once it's produced (in other words, bundle up). Stay fed and hydrated. Avoid overexertion by keeping a sustainable pace because panting compounds fatigue and fluid loss.
He says to use good judgment and be prepared for emergencies. Carry extra warm clothes, warm boots and gloves in your vehicle in case of breakdown or an accident. Pay attention, he says, to your feet, face and ears especially if they begin developing numbness, one of the first signs of frostbite, which has a way of sneaking up on you.