Don’t let your child get bitten – by frostbite!

The colder temperatures of winter bring about a host of problems we don’t deal with during the rest of the year. If your children aren’t ones for sitting in front of the fireplace to sip hot cocoa, but instead prefer to get outside and play, help them stay safe by knowing the signs and symptoms of frostbite! 

Frostbite
“Frostbite can result in the same type of tissue damage as a burn,” says Heather Koss, RN, clinical resource nurse at Dayton Children’s and coordinator of the emergency medical system/trauma education program. “This is why it is important for parents to periodically check on children who are playing outside. Make sure they are dressed appropriately—gloves, hats, warm socks and face coverings are particularly important since fingers, noses and ears are most vulnerable to frostbite.”

Signs of frostbite

  • Skin may look discolored.
  • Skin may feel cold to the touch.
  • Skin may feel numb to child.
  • If deeply frostbitten, skin may look waxy or feel hard (frozen).

What parents should do

  • Take the child to a warm place
  • Remove cold or wet clothing and give child warm, dry clothes
  • Do NOT rub or massage the cold part or apply heat such as a water bottle or hot running water.
  • Cover the body part loosely with a non-stick, sterile dressing or dry blanket.
  • If the skin looks discolored or the child has lost sensation, keep the child warm and call 9-1-1 immediately.

With proper precautions children can be safe and have a great time enjoying winter weather.

For more tips on winter safety visit our website.

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We have created this blog as a way to communicate key childrens' health and safety issues to parents and other child advocates. It is managed by Dayton Children's department of marketing communications. Comments can be sent to rodneyg@childrensdayton.org.

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