Extreme cold safety advice for kids

Bitter Buffalo temperatures will raise concerns for everyone - especially children
Posted at 6:56 PM, Dec 18, 2019

WILLIAMSVILLE, N.Y. (WKBW) — A band of extreme cold air is moving across the Buffalo region which will drop temperatures into the single digits.

While everyone who is planning to be outside should take precautions to avoid frostbite or hypothermia, children are the most vulnerable.

"The smaller the child is, the more likely they can lose temperature quickly through their body surfaces," said Dr. Kathleen Grisanti, president of Pediatric & Adolescent Urgent Care of WNY.

Dr. Grisanti is strongly urging parents to limit the amount of time children are outside to no more than 10 or 15 minutes.

"If if too cold to go to school, it is generally too cold to go outside and play in it as well," added Dr. Grisanti.

The physician shared cold weather safety tips with 7 Eyewitness News Reporter Ed Reilly:

  • Dress children in layers with hats, gloves and scarves.
  • Make sure there is no exposed skin!
  • Exercise caution when bundling very young kids using hoods with strings. The strings can pose a choke and strangulation hazard. Avoid tying them under a small child's chin.
  • Don't over-bundle infants and them strap them into car seats. The pressure of the straps on the heavy bundling can hamper an infants breathing or airway.
  • If kids get wet, bring them inside immediately. Moisture on hands and feet can help frostbite (tissue damage) develop faster.
  • Check children frequently for signs of frostbite such as redness, white or blueness on fingers and toes.
  • If you think your child might have frostbite, warm the area gently with no rubbing or massaging. Use your body or hands to warm the suspected frostbite area on the child.
  • If numbness or tingling doesn't go away after 1 hour, call a doctor.
  • Watch for signs of hypothermia which include slurring speech, uncontrolled shivering and inability to warm up. Hypothermia can be life-threatening so don't delay in getting medical advice.