Dress kids for the weather

As the Mid-South experiences frigid temperatures, sleet, ice and snow this week, it’s important to keep kids covered up and inside. Dr. Barry Gilmore, medical director of Emergency Services at Le Bonheur, says the best way to keep kids safe is by dressing them in several layers and covering up the extremities. Also, keeping kids inside is the best way to prevent frostbite or hypothermia.

Dress for the weather

The best way to stay warm is to dress with several layers. As a general rule of thumb, parents should dress young children and babies in one more layer of clothing than an adult would wear in the same conditions.

Make sure to wear boots, gloves, hats and scarves because extremities like fingers, toes, noses and chins are particularly susceptible to developing frostbite.

Keep covered to prevent frostbite

Frostbite happens when the skin, typically on extremities like fingers, toes, nose and ears, become frozen.

Signs: Feelings of numbness, pain or change of skin color

What to do: If you suspect frostbite, bring your child indoors and place frostbitten part in warm (not hot) water. The water temperature should be no higher than 104 degrees Fahrenheit. Do not rub the affected area. Dry off the child and cover him with clothes and blankets. If numbness continues, call your child's doctor or seek medical attention.

Warm up to prevent hypothermia

Hypothermia happens when the body’s temperature falls below normal. This can happen when a child plays outside too long without proper clothing in the cold weather.

Bring children inside frequently to warm up during outdoor play. Hypothermia occurs more quickly in children than adults.

Signs: confusion, shivering, slurred speech and sleepiness

What to do: If you suspect hypothermia, call 911 and immediately bring your child indoors, remove any wet clothing, and wrap him or her in blankets. Perform CPR if the child stops breathing.

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