It’s cold, really cold, and expected to get a lot worse in the coming days. If you’re not prepared, frostbite can be a very real risk.

In frigid temperatures like these, frostbite can begin to develop in 30 seconds on exposed or underprotected skin.

Cold weather is no stranger to Northeast Ohio, but when winter temperatures drop into the single digits or below, parents face special challenges in keeping their children warm and safe.

“Because children are smaller than adults, they lose body heat more quickly and will suffer cold-related injuries sooner than adults,” says Kathryn Wesolowski, manager of the Injury Prevention Center at University Hospitals’ Rainbow Babies & Children’s Hospital.

Before going outdoors on a cold day, make sure you and your children have:

  • A hat that covers the ears.
  • A scarf or knit mask to cover the face and mouth.
  • Sleeves that are snug at the wrist.
  • Mittens, which keep hands warmer than gloves.
  • Water-resistant coat and boots.
  • Several layers of thick, loose-fitting clothing, which allow warm air to become trapped between the layers. This also allows for layers to be removed if your child becomes too warm.

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