Kids love playing outside in the snow, but did you know they are also more susceptible than adults to getting frostbite than adults? Especially in these chilly winter conditions. Kids can lose heat from their skin more rapidly and are often reluctant to leave their winter fun to go inside and warm up.
Frostbite is, literally, frozen body tissue — usually the skin, but sometimes deeper tissue. It must be managed carefully to prevent permanent tissue damage. The varying degrees of frostbite are based on how deep the tissue injury goes. Mild cases affect a superficial area of the skin, while the most severe cases can go all the way down to the muscle and bone. The areas most prone to frostbite are the head, face, ears, hands, and feet. Frostbite needs medical attention from a health care provider.
To help prevent frostbite in cold weather consider the following tips:
- Stay updated on weather forecasts. If it’s extremely cold, even brief exposure to cold can cause frostbite
- Dress kids in layered warm clothes and use hats, gloves, scarves, thick socks, and well-insulated boots to cover body parts that are most prone to frostbite. Inner clothing layers that absorb moisture and outermost layers that are windproof and waterproof are helpful
- Make sure kids come indoors regularly to warm up
- Change kids out of wet clothing or shoes as soon as possible
- Watch for “frostnip”, frostbite’s early warning sign
- If you’re planning travel to a remote area, make sure you have proper supplies in case of emergencies and let family or friends know your travel plans
- Take a first-aid and CPR class to help learn what to do in emergency situations