In this year’s winter weather it is obvious that the children will be outside building snowmen, shoveling, sleigh- riding, and making snow angels. If a child is overly exposed to the cold do you know exactly what to do? Do you know how to prevent overexposure or the differences between deep frostbite and superficial frostbite? This winter make sure you know the facts. Frostbite probably wont occur unless your child is outside in the cold for a very long time or outside in the cold without being dressed properly for the temperature, but if it happens you should be prepared. Here are some things to keep you informed and to help you do exactly what you need to do if over exposure should occur.
The first thing to do to prevent your child from overexposure to the cold is to make sure they are dressed properly. Do not let their fussiness about wearing a hat or gloves stop you from making them wear them. If they refuse to wear them refuse to let them outside to play in the snow. Chances are they will put them on. Using a windproof outer layer of clothing will especially help in windy conditions. It will keep them warm and safe. Also, make sure your child’s clothing stays dry. If their clothing becomes wet from the snow make sure that you change it promptly. These things will help you prevent your child from dealing with frostbite or hypothermia.
If despite your efforts your child still is overly exposed to freezing temperatures they may have frostbite or hypothermia. There are two types of frostbite. Deep frostbite penetrates deep into the skin and can change the skin a dark color. This type is the worst type. The second type of frostbite is superficial frostbite. It will most likely affect fingertips, toes, the nose, ears, and cheeks. Keep these spots covered up and as warm as possible. Numbness, tingling, and stiffness occurs. Hypothermia can set in also and the child may shiver, become confused, tired, and weak. The body temperature also goes down. If hypothermia sets in take the child indoors and remove any wet clothing. Then wrap the child in a blanket. If the child is conscious give them something warm to drink. Finally, call a physician. For deep frostbite get immediate medical attention while warming the affected areas may be enough for superficial frostbite. Trust your instinct. if you think your child still should see a doctor take them. Some cases are worse than others so you need to use your judgment.
Hopefully, your child will not become exposed to extreme cold temperatures. Frostbite and hypothermia are not fun for a child or anyone else for that matter. Just remember to keep your child dressed warmly and dry. Winter weather should be fun for children. They should be out making snowballs and ice skating. Keep your child safe during their winter fun so that they can make great memories.