Health

Frostbites

Did you know that you should never rub a frostbite, nor put it in snow or water (cold or hot)? When it's as cold as it’s been recently, we all need advice!

Clothing

Clothing is often the key to successful winter activities. Being either too cold or too hot can be major drawbacks that can unfortunately spoil even the best days! When you’re planning on spending a few hours outside, dress with many layers of clothing, rather than put everything in the coat or snowsuit.

This method consists in starting with undergarments, ideally made of wool, to be worn directly on the skin, and then add warm clothes that are not too thick. The ideal fabric is either fleece or wool. Contrary to what one might think, it’s important not to wear cotton! Yes, cotton allows air to circulate, but once soaked with perspiration, it doesn’t dry and gets really uncomfortable.

Warning!

It is recommended to avoid outdoor activities when temperatures drop below -25 degrees Celsius. At that temperature, the body loses a lot of heat and is more prone to frostbites. Don’t forget to take into account the wind factor, which adds to the risk of frostbite. Yep, when it comes to winter, you have to think about the risk of frostbite, particularly among toddlers who love the pleasures of winter but are the first victims of the cold. Ears, nose, cheeks, hands and feet (and of course fingers and toes) are the body parts most vulnerable to frostbites because they are the most exposed to air and cold.

Treatment

Did you know that you should never rub a frostbite, nor put it in snow or water (cold or hot)?  You must instead wrap the frozen area in a blanket and wait until it thaws, even if it tingles! The most effective trick to relieve frostbites remains the skin to skin contact ...

If the affected area is in the face, put your hands on the skin and wait until in warms up. In case of the hands, take your courage in both hands – literally! -  and put them under someone else’s armpits. It will really help the person with the frostbites and will certainly keep the “helper” awake! The body area affected by a frostbite will gradually lose all its sensibility and turn white and hard. A body part that has already been frozen will also be more vulnerable to the cold thereafter, even in higher temperatures. Don’t hesitate to see a doctor if you suspect your child has frostbites.

One of the best parts of winter is getting back in a warm house with red cheeks and a smile strained by the cold! It’s then time to eat a good soup or stew and make somehot chocolate. And if you're lucky enough to have a fireplace, it’s total bliss!

Image de Sonia Cosentino

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