Frostbite happens when the skin and outer tissues become frozen. It tends to happen on extremities like the fingers, toes, ears and nose. Keep abreast of the signs and follow these tips for treating it:
- The skin may become pale, gray and blistered, and may feel like it’s burning or has become numb.
- If frostbite occurs, place the frostbitten body parts in warm (not hot) water. Warm washcloths may be applied to a frostbitten nose, ears and lips.
- Do not rub the frozen areas.
- After a few minutes, dry the area and cover up with clothing or blankets. Drink something warm.
- If numbness continues for more than a few minutes, call your doctor.
Know the signs of hypothermia
Hypothermia develops when the body’s temperature falls below normal due to cold exposure, and often happens when outside in extremely cold weather without proper clothing, or when clothes get wet. It can occur more quickly in children than in adults.
As hypothermia sets in, you may shiver and become lethargic and clumsy. Speech may become slurred and body temperature will decline in more severe cases.
If you suspect you or your child is hypothermic, call 911 at once. Until help arrives, take shelter indoors, remove wet clothing and wrap up in blankets or warm clothes.