Conditions + Treatments

Frostbite in Children

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Overview

Prolonged exposure to cold temperatures, usually below 32 degrees F, can lead to frostbite. Frostbite occurs when ice crystals form in the skin or deeper tissue, which causes damage to the skin.

  • The most common sites for frostbite are the fingers, hands, toes, feet, ears, nose and cheeks.
  • Children are more prone to frostbite than adults because they lose heat from their skin faster and do not want to come inside when they're having fun playing outdoors.
  • Frostbite can cause serious injury and needs immediate medical attention. If you believe your child has frostbite, you should call your child's physician or take your child to the emergency room immediately.
  • Frostnip is a less severe condition and affects the tips of the cheeks, ears, nose, fingers and toes.
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