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First Aid: Frostbite


First Aid

Exposure to below-freezing temperatures can cause frostbite, a rare but serious condition that requires emergency care. Frostbite can affect any area of the skin, and in extreme cold can develop within minutes.

Signs and Symptoms

What to Do

If you think your child is frostbitten, call the doctor right away. Begin these steps:

Seek Emergency Medical Care

If Your Child Has:

Think Prevention!

Stay updated on weather forecasts. Keep kids warm and dry in cold weather. Loose-fitting, layered warm clothes are best. Have kids wear well-insulated boots, thick socks, hats, scarves, and mittens. Ice packs applied directly to the skin can cause frostbite — always cover ice packs with a cloth before applying to the skin.

Reviewed by: Steven Dowshen, MD
Date reviewed: April 2014


Note: All information on KidsHealth® is for educational purposes only. For specific medical advice, diagnoses, and treatment, consult your doctor.

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