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Montreal hospitals warn parents to be vigilant of frostbite

Make sure kids don’t get frostbite
WATCH: Temperatures are freezing outside, which means Montrealers have to take extra precautions to stay warm and prevent frostbite. As Global's Felicia Parrillo reports, parents should make sure their kids are properly bundled up, too.

WARNING: This story contains graphic content. Discretion is advised.

On Wednesday, Mont-Royal Park looked and felt like a winter wonderland.

So it’s no surprise that kids and adults alike were out and about enjoying the weather.

But the snow and the cold aren’t always so fun.

READ MORE: In Photos: Here’s what an extreme cold snap looks like in Canada

“When it gets really cold, when it gets to the -20s, we definitely see an uptake in the amount of frostbite cases that we see in emergency departments,” said Liane Fransblow, trauma coordinator at the MUHC. “So in the past week, we have seen more than we have previously.”

Last week, an extreme cold weather warning went into effect for most of the country, including Montreal.

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READ MORE: Extreme cold warning lifted in Greater Montreal

For six days straight, temperatures remained in the -30s, putting many at risk of hypothermia and frostbite.

Earlier this week, emergency staff at Sainte-Justine Hospital, put out photos of kids with severe blistering and redness on their Facebook page and advised parents to keep their kids warm.

Montreal Children’s Hospital says people should get out of the cold as soon as their extremities become numb and they notice a lack of colour.

READ MORE: Staying safe during extreme cold weather

“When it gets more severe, you’re going to feel like a waxy skin, you may start having blisters,” Fransblow said. People with symptoms should immediately head to a hospital, she said. “For less severe cases, you can try to warm it up first on your own. But after about an hour, if it’s not improving, if you’re still having a lack of colour, you should seek medical attention.”

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Parents outside at Mont-Royal on Wednesday told Global News that while they take frostbite seriously, they won’t let the cold lock them indoors.

“We still go outside,” said Montreal resident Julie Routhier. “It’s very good to have some fresh air, but we go for shorter amounts of time.”

Still, hospitals are warning parents to dress their children warmly and not to spend a lot much time outside when it’s very cold, no matter how tempting it can be.