How cold is too cold for children?

ST. JOSEPH COUNTY, Ind. -- Temperatures in Michiana are going to be dropping below zero again and that has many parents wondering if it is safe for their children to be outside. Doctors say it's fine - as long as you limit the time they are outside.

"When wind chills become zero, that's when it becomes dangerously cold for kids to be outside," said Dr. Maged Ibrahim. "They may not know the signs of frostbite when their ears, their nose, their toes are getting too cold."

At the Child Development Center at Notre Dame, teachers are encouraging kids to stay active but also safe.

"Cabin fever with being inside is really challenging so we try to have special activities to add sparkle, uniqueness, a novelty to the day," said Terri Kosik, Executive Director for the Early Childhood Development Center at Notre Dame & Saint Marys.

Kosik says when it is 25 degrees or colder they keep the children indoors.

Taking advantage of the winter season is a part of the curriculum.

"We also look for other avenues for the children to be active, like learning winter sports, recreational skills are a life skill so the children have ice skating lessons," said Kosik.

Teachers and doctors urge parents to always prepare their young children for the very worst of conditions.

"We encourage our parents to send children with boots and snowpants and gloves and hats and scarves everyday, "said Kosik.

Doctors say children 2-3 years old shouldn't be outside for longer than 20 minutes. Older children shouldn't be out longer than 30-40 minutes at a time.


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