Keeping kids safe in the cold - 13abc.com Toledo (OH) News, Weather and Sports

Keeping kids safe in the cold

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With all this snow on the way a lot of kids are looking forward to getting out in it to play. They're also no doubt looking forward to snowball fights, sledding and building snowmen. There are some simple things you need to do to make sure they stay safe and while these reminders are common sense, they're worth repeating. Dr. Steven Freeman is with ProMedica Family Physicians,"The hat, the gloves, the waterproof footwear are most important, but it's also important to dress them in layers so they can peel some of it off." Of course you have to keep an eye on just how many layers they peel off, "The problem is they go out and get sweaty and then they go sit and get cold and start to shiver and then they go play again and its hard to stay warm if you are not dry. If they can peel off layers they won't have a puddle of sweat in their clothes."

Dr. Freeman says there is a time limit when it comes to how long kids can safely stay outside, "Of course there are a lot of variables. It depends on things like the wind chill, the air temperature, whether the kids are immersed in snow or just playing on top of it. You need to always supervise them and typically after 45 minutes to an hour you should be calling them inside." One of the biggest problems for kids in the cold is frost nip, "Your hands turn white and then red. They burn and even itch and they can be stiff and sore. If your skin is exposed for too long you get frost bite which gets into your skin or deeper layers of tissue." Using warm water to warm up is alright but, "An adult needs to test the water before the kids crank up the heat because if they can't feel their hands they can burn themselves while they are trying to get rid of the frost nip."Dr. Freeman says some of the other snow and cold related problems for kids include heavy snowballs which can cause black eyes, icicles falling on them or snow forts caving in on them.

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