01/03/2018 | News release | Distributed by Public on 01/03/2018 18:45
As temperatures plunge, University of Louisville pediatrician Heather M. Felton, M.D., reminds parents and other caregivers that children are more vulnerable to cold weather.
'Children exposed to extreme cold for too long and without warm, dry, breathable clothing can get frostbite or life-threatening hypothermia,' Felton said. 'Children are more at risk from the cold than adults. Because their bodies are smaller, they lose heat more quickly.'
The medical director of the University of Louisville Pediatrics Clinic at Sam Swope Kosair Charities Centre, Felton provides the following advice on how to handle frostbite and hypothermia in little ones:
Frostbite: Frostbite happens when the skin, and sometimes the tissue below it, freezes. Fingers, toes, ears and noses are most likely to get frostbite. Frostbitten skin may start to hurt or feel like it's burning, then quickly go numb. It may turn white or pale gray and form blisters.
What to do:
Hypothermia: When the body's temperature drops below normal from the cold, dangerous hypothermia begins to set in. A child may start shivering, a sign the body is trying to warm itself up, but then become sluggish, clumsy or slur words.
What to do:
Preventing Frostbite and Hypothermia
'Frostbite and hypothermia are different conditions, but some wintertime planning and safety steps can help protect your child from both,' said Felton, who also cares for patients at Norton Children's Hospital. She provides the following tips to parents:
The Pediatrics Clinic at Sam Swope Kosair Charities Centre is part of UofL Physicians and is located at 982 Eastern Parkway. The clinic provides general pediatric care and appointments can be made by calling 502-588-0700.