Symptoms of frostbite – skin or tissue damage caused by freezing – range from mild (numbness, tingling, aching) to severe (blisters, blackened skin indicating gangrene).
- Dress in layers. Make sure the outer layer is waterproof.
- Make sure kids keep mittens or gloves on, and keep tender ears covered with a warm hat.
- Notice if your child shivers or complains of numbness or tingling in the hands or feet. If so, get inside.
- Change clothing when it gets wet.
- Get indoors.
- If you see signs of hypothermia (uncontrolled shivering, rapid or slow breathing, weakness, confusion or drowsiness), call 911.
- Change to dry clothes.
- If you can’t get indoors immediately, cover your child’s skin to warm it but don’t rub since that can cause further damage. Carry your child instead of letting her walk on frostbitten feet.
- Warm hands or toes gradually by putting them in lukewarm water. Place a wet warm cloth on the nose, cheeks and ears.
- Consult your pediatrician.