In extreme cold, windburn and frostbite can set in in just minutes. For children, that can happen even faster.
Experts with Akron Children’s Hospital say to take steps to stay safe.
Stay home if you can. If you can’t, limit the time outside for your kids as much as possible.
“The younger the child, the more delicate their skin. So you want to go outside as little as possible and only if necessary. From the house to the car, if the car is parked outside, that’s about as much time as you want to spend outside,” said Bill MacMahon, a child safety expert of Akron Children’s Hospital.
So fun winter activities like sledding should be put off till the weather warms up a bit.
Carmen Garcia says she’s ready for the cold.
“Three pairs of socks on. I put pajamas. Right now I got like three shirts on. Hey. I’m good to go,” she said.
She says she worries about her grandkids who don’t bundle up. She hopes everyone, including her grandkids, takes her advice this week.
“Stay home warm. Don’t go out if you don’t have to,” she said.
McMahon said that’s good advice, especially for kids.
“It’s just too dangerous. Frostbite and windburn can happen so quickly, and the littler they are they may not be able to communicate that as well,” McMahon said.
And don’t rely on bundling up to keep kids safe this week.
“It’s so cold that even the thickest gloves for a little child they don”t know to keep the circulation moving. They don’t know to rub their hands,” he said.
McMahon says if you lose heat in your home, don’t hesitate to take children to a warm building. It can be difficult to see when hypothermia is setting in.
“Especially with these extreme temperatures being so cold. At night they’re sleepy, so you can’t tell the difference between hypothermia and lethargic if they’re already tired,” he said.