Griz Central News

Dec 4, 2013 10:00 PM by Russ Thomas - KPAX News

Cold, frostbite adds to Griz playoff challenges

MISSOULA - Nothing - cold weather included - is going to stop Griz Football fans for showing up for this weekend's playoff match-up again Coastal Carolina.

But the fans who fill the stands will need to take some precautions as they head out to Washington Grizzly Stadium on Saturday afternoon for one of the coldest home games of all time.

Game time temperatures expected to be just around zero - and the wind chill values will be below zero, so there is a constant threat of medical concerns.

"With the weather we're looking at over the weekend, I'd be worried about anything over 15 to 20 minutes of exposure to bare skin,” said Dr. Marc Mentel with Community Mental Center.

This means covering up as much of your body as possible - as often as possible, and some areas need extra attention.

"It's very important to make sure the small parts of your body such as fingers, toes, your nose, and your ears are very well protected. Those are the areas that are most likely to get frostbite or frostnip first," said Mentel.

Dr. Mentel says the acronym C.O.L.D. is a great guideline when exposing the body to prolonged frigid temperatures. C stands for covering the body with clean clothes, O for open up layers to vent moisture, L for loose layers to prevent blood restriction, and D for staying dry to keep core temperature from dropping.

Dr. Mentel also says it's also important to watch the behavior of others around you.

"What you'll really be looking at as people get further into hypothermia is acting like they've had too many drinks. They might get a little confused they might not be able to act normally, not be able to think too well, and eventually everything starts shutting down until they quietly go to sleep."

There is good news from the University of Montana for those who will be searching for a break from the cold.

"We will have the Adams Center open at halftime and the Hall of Champions area so typically that gets fairly crowded at halftime, people can come to warm up a little bit," said UM Associate Athletic Director Chuck Maes.

Hot chocolate and coffee will also be available throughout the game. Dr. Mentel says drinking alcohol is not safe as it lowers the body's core temperature.

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