When you're a kid, there is almost nothing better than a snow day -- no homework, no class, no school, just a blissfully free day to grab your friends and head outside for hours of fun in the snow -- but all that time in the cold can come with some risks.
One of the biggest risks, according to Northside Hospital Emergency Room Director Michael Dykes, is hypothermia. He says it can set in quickly -- in just minutes in extreme cold. Dykes says the fact that kids are likely to be spending an extended amount of time in the elements playing puts them at an elevated risk.
But according to the CDC, there are things you can do to limit you and your child's risk is to make sure they're dressed appropriately -- a hat, scarf, jacket, and mittens are all recommended.
Not just any warm outfit will do. The CDC says it's important to layer smart. Start with an inner layer made of something like wool or polypropylene that will help retain body heat and won't absorb moisture. Follow it up with a middle layer of insulation with materials like goose down or fleece, and cap it off with an external layer that's preferably waterproof, and even if you do all this, it's still important to watch for signs that your kids are getting too cold.
"The one thing you want to be concerned with is the symptoms, recognizing hypothermia. The signs of hypothermia is obviously shivering, getting more or less their body being so cold," said Dykes.
Dykes says hypothermia actually begins if and when the shivering stops.
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