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Dr. Andrew Rynne
Dr. Andrew Rynne

Family Physician

Exp 50 years

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Article Home Children's Health HYPOTHERMIA IN CHILD


Hypothermia is when child’s body temperature drops low. It is commonly seen during winter months or cold environment.


If the child has mild hypothermia,

What to look for:

-          Shivering and child complaining of feeling cold

-          Numbness of limbs

-          Body temperature slightly below normal

What to do:

-          Check for airways, breathing and circulation of the child. The child’s windpipe shouldn’t be blocking. Breathing should be in proper rate and rhythm. Pulse should be checked for circulatory status. Check for any other symptoms and injuries.

-          Call for ambulance or emergency medical help if severely low body temperature is observed.

-          Remove any wet clothing and dry the child, if wet.

-          Put child in a warm room. Wrap him or her in blankets. The child should wear dry clothes. Rapid re-warming should be avoided to avoid any heart problems.

-          Put heat pads or heat bottles I child’s armpits and back of neck. Keep a thick cloth or blanket between heat source and skin to avoid burns.

-          Give child warm liquids or milk to drink.

-          Ask A Doctor if the child needs immediate medical help

In case of severe hypothermia

What to look for:

-          Child has stopped shivering or complaining of cold

-          Numbness in limbs has increased

-          Child is confused, unable to speak, and shows weird behavior and impaired judgment

-          Body temperature goes really low

-          Child may breathe too slowly and may even become unconscious

What to do:

-          If the child is accessible, check child’s airway, breathing and circulation. Also check for any other symptoms and injuries and treat them.

-          Remove him/her to warm room and call for immediate medical help.

-          Remove any wet clothing, dry him/her and wrap in warm and dry clothes. Cover the head and neck and warm the child slowly. Rapid re-warming and produce heart problems.

-          Put heat pads and other sources of heat. Take precautions to avoid burns by putting a blanket or cloth between heat source and sin to avoid burns.

-          Give the child warm fluids to drink.

It is important that child is provided medical care. A team of specialists including emergency physician and pediatrician will check for presence of other concomitant conditions in the child. Persistent exposure to cold temperatures can cause frost bite and other conditions like cold, bronchitis, pneumonia, etc in child. Ask A Pediatrician if any child needs examination, investigations for proper management of conditions associated with exposure to cold temperatures.


Written by Dr Vaishalee Punj