Bundling Up Against Frostbite


Fridge Facts from Snerdlihc

Snerdlihc (that's Children's spelled backward), St. Louis Children's Hospital's fuzzy mascot, wants you to know the following steps for the treatment of frostbite. Print out this page, and put this information under your favorite fridge magnet.

Frostbite Treatment:

  • Get the child indoors and remove all clothing that restricts circulation.
  • Call your pediatrician immediately.
  • Do not rub the frostbitten area, especially with snow or ice, since this can cause damage to thawing tissues.
  • Place the entire frostbitten body part in very warm, but not hot, water (104-108 degrees F) until a pink flush returns to the frostbitten area (usually 30 minutes), and cover the rest of the body with blankets.
    if warm water is not available, loosely wrap affected parts with blankets or towels.
  • Do not re-warm frostbitten parts with a heating pad, sun lamp, hot water bottle, stove, radiator or over a fire, since frostbitten skin is easily burned.
  • Acetaminophen or ibuprofen may be given for the pain.
  • Offer warm, nonalcoholic fluids to drink.
  • Place sterile gauze or cloth between affected toes or fingers to separate
  • Do not break any blisters.
  • If a blister is greater than the size of a nickel, or there are three or more blisters, inform your pediatrician within 12 hours.
  • Do not allow children with frostbitten toes or feet to walk, but have them move their toes as soon as they are re-warmed.
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