Doctor shares tips on how to stay safe in frigid cold weather

Posted at 4:30 AM, Jan 03, 2018
and last updated 2018-01-03 09:02:44-05

CINCINNATI -- When Mirror Lake is frozen solid at Eden Park, you know it's cold out. 

But the subzero temperatures are a magnet for some, like Jay McKillop and his son, Sean, who were out skating this week. They found ways to stay warm.

"I currently have three pairs of gloves on," Sean said. 

But when it comes to children, is it too cold to take them out?

"They were so ready to come outside," parent Jeannie Leo said. "We've been inside for several days and needed to come out and get rid of some energy."

Cincinnati Children's pediatrician Dr. Nick DeBlasio shared some tips for those who take their children outside. He said it's important to dress in layers, and to limit time outside in the cold.

"Every 20-30 minutes, it's really nice to just regroup, make sure your kids are still doing OK," he said.

DeBlasio suggested setting a timer on a cellphone to keep track of the time.

"Often times, when the kids are outside playing in the snow, they're busy, they're having fun," DeBlasio said. "They're not thinking about, 'Oh, I need to go and check in with mom and dad at home.'"

DeBlasio also advised to stay hydrated and make sure children wear sunscreen.

"The sunlight will reflect off the snow, so you can have some significant sun damage during the winter weather as well," he said. 

Of course, frostbite is the biggest concern with subzero temperatures. DeBlasio said if skin is red and tingly, use warm water -- not hot water. Ibuprofen can be used for pain. And keep the child warm in a blanket and get medical attention.