• sn  First Aid: Frostbite  sn

    From KidsHealth.org. Reviewed by Kate M. Cronan, MD. Date reviewed: July 2018 

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    Exposure to below-freezing temperatures can cause frostbite, a rare but serious condition that needs emergency medical care. Frostbite can affect any area of the skin, and in extreme cold can develop within minutes. 

    Signs and Symptoms:

    • aching pain or numbness, most often hands, feet, face, and ears
    • skin that feels hard and waxy, with a white or grayish yellow color

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    What to Do:

    If you think your child has frostbite, call the doctor right away. Then:

    • Bring your child indoors immediately. Do not try to thaw frostbite unless you're in a warm place (warming and then reexposing frozen skin to cold can cause permanent damage). 
    • remove wet clothing.
    • don't rub frostbittten areas - treat them gently.
    • Don't use dry heat - such as fireplace, oven, or heating pad - to thaw frostbite.
    • Don't break any blisters.
    • Warm the frostbitten parts in warm (not hot) water for about 30 minutes. Place clean cotton balls between frostbitten fingers and toes fter they've been warmed.
    • Lossely wrap warmed areas with clean bandages to prevent refreezing.
    • Give your child acetaminophen or ibuprofen for pain.

    Get Emergency Medical Care if Your Child Has:

    • an area of skin that is turning white and hard

    Think Prevention!!!

    Stay updated on weather forecasts. Keep kids warm and dry in cold weather. Loose-fitting, layered warm clothes are best. have kids wear well-insulated boots, thick socks, hats, scarves, and mittens. Ice packs applied directly to the skin can cause frostbite - always cover ice packs with a cloth before applying to skin. 

     

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     References 

     Cronan, K. M. (2018). First aid: Frostbite. Retrieved from https://kidshealth.org/en/parents/frostbite-sheet.html

     

    Last Updated: January 25th 2019