Doctors warn against extended amounts of time outside

As temperatures plummet after the first snow storm of the new year, the layers pile on.
 
For many families, snow and bitter cold is nothing to steer clear of. 
 
Maria Hartman brought her nieces out for sledding Friday afternoon. "Absolutely the opposite! You just have to go out and have fun and it's about having an experience with the kids but don't forget that it's absolutely fun for us too," she said.
 
"Some states don't even get this, like California, Florida. So it's just fun to play in it because it doesn't come all year," said 9-year-old Johan Shattuck.
 
Parents were certainly taking advantage of a chance to get the kids outside, but still paying close attention.
 
"If they start complaining, then it's time to go," said Johan's mother, Emily.
 
"Kids are kids, and kids are definitely going to play in the snow but it's definitely not recommended to stay out there for extended periods of time. They're going to play and you definitely want them to be supervised, but certainly when it gets to an a hour or two hours, you don't want them to be there longer because in addition to potential injuries, you see infections, " said Dr. Emmanuel Oke, Sinai Hospital Emergency Medicine, 
 
Even so, Dr. Oke says it's not kids playing outdoors for a few hours that are most susceptible to cold weather injuries. It is those who are outside for extended amounts of time, like the homeless. 
 
We may feel a big difference between 40 and 15 degree weather and but Dr. Oke says medically, there isn't that much of a distinction. 
 
"Anything can happen at 10 degree weather and freezing temperatures. So it's not a specific number, it's just to be cautious," Dr. Oke said.  
 
Dr. Oke also explained that it is possible to bundle up too much, specifically for babies under a year old. 
 
He said be sure to check them to make sure they are not sweating and getting dehydrated. 

 

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