FAQs » The Human Body » Hands & Feet » Question & Answer
Why do my fingers, toes, and ears get cold first on a winter day?
It would sure be terrific if your toes could stay toasty all the time. But this doesn’t happen in frosty weather because your body has bigger things to worry about–like your internal organs! You can get the real “inside” story by learning what happens when it’s not cold outside. On a comfortable day, blood carries heat from the center of your body out to your skin’s surface. Heat from your warm skin then escapes through the air. And the quickest way for heat to leave your body is through all those funny parts that stick out, like your fingers, toes, and ears. But when it’s fr-r-r-r-reezing outside, it’s a good idea to prevent heat from escaping. So your body sends less blood to your fingers, toes, and ears. That way, it traps heat for the rest of itself and keeps your vital organs cozy.
Now this doesn’t mean you should just forget your fingers, toes, and ears! After all, if they remain without blood for too long, they can get frostbitten! That means your blood-starved tissues will get so cold that they’ll freeze and die. So your body does its best to keep you warm with some emergency procedures, like shivering and breaking down food. You can easily help out even more by dressing warmly.
Answer provided by Discovery.com
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