A: Generally skin color changes from pink to blue or purple when the area is cold or is not receiving enough oxygenated blood. Although abnormal in adults, the color and temperature change can be normal in children even up to a few years old. The color change is called acrocyanosis it may be related to the temperature in the room but may happen at other times as well, like when the child is upset.
If it is concerning to you, make an appointment for a complete physical examination. Your physician may choose to place a pulse oximiter on a finger or toe to ensure that the blood traveling to that extremity has adequate oxygen levels. If your physician has concerns about your child's heart or lung function they will refer you to a specialist.
Prompt evaluation by a physician is warranted if the child has central cyanosis which is blue color of the tongue, head or trunk, or any difficulty breathing associated with a color change as these may be signs of a true medical emergency.
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