Many of you on the East coast have probably been talking about the weather and how it has been bitterly cold outside. Where has all that global warming gone? If your kids play outside even though the high is only 10F, you should be aware of these few things:
1. Always dress your kids in layers. Make sure that exposed surfaces are covered – like hands, feet and face.
2. If your children, as mine do, lose their gloves or refuse to wear their face warmer,
they might experience either frost nip or worse yet, frostbite.
What is the difference between frost nip and frostbite in children?
Frost nip is a precursor to frostbite. Skin that has been frost nipped often has a reddish appearance, and your child might say that their skin is numb or feels like pins and needles.
Frost nip should be treated by placing the affected area into warm water between 101 and 103F. Always check the water yourself first. Keep the area under water until that numb feeling goes away. For facial frost nip you can use a warm wash cloth. Never rub the affected area or use direct heat.
Frostbite is what happens after frost nip. Like a burn, frostbite can be superficial or deep. Frostbitten skin often has a white or waxy appearance. If you suspect that you have a case of child frostbite on your hands, you should seek medical attention. If you are far from a medical center, you should soak the affected area until the skin becomes pink and sensation returns. If the area blisters, leave the blisters intact. For fingers or toes, place dry gauze or cotton between the affected fingers or toes to prevent chafing.
Remember, prevention is the best medicine. Layer and stay dry!
Write to the Doc
Looking for something specific? Write to Dr. Audrey Paul and let her know what topic you're interested in learning more about.