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Thursday, December 17, 2015

How can I protect my kids from hypothermia and frostbite?

Posted By: Advancing Care

Sustained exposure to frigid temperature can become a serious medical issue if children spend too much time outdoors—or are not dressed warmly enough. “Infants and toddlers are usually well bundled up by their parents,” says Carey Goltzman, MD, Chief of Pediatric Critical Care Medicine at Maria Fareri Children’s Hospital. “However some stubborn teenagers want to wear t-shirts when it’s frigid outside.” Insist that your child (of any age) wear plenty of layers, preferably wear a double pair of socks and waterproof shoes. If you think your child has frostbite, bring him into a warm place, remove all wet clothing, wrap him in blankets and lightly wrap the discolored digits (fingers or toes that may look pale, white or blue) in light cotton gauze. Do not rub the frozen digits, as it may cause further damage. Dr. Joseph Turkowski, Director of the Regional Burn Center at Westchester Medical Center cautions, “The same type of burn damage that occurs from heat also occurs when tissues are frozen with frostbite.”