Watch CBS News

Handling Hypothermia And Children: Tips From One Pediatrician On Keeping Kids Warm

PITTSBURGH (KDKA) - When it's cold outside like it was this morning, it can be incredibly dangerous.

If you aren't dressed in layers and paying attention to your body, hypothermia can set in and for children, it can happen faster than you'd expect.

It's the time of year when kids want to be outside and play in the snow, but the problem is if no one is watching how long they're outside, their bodies could be telling them they're in trouble.

"The normal body temperature is 98.6, generally if you're below 95, it's considered hypothermia," said Allegheny Health Network Pediatrician Dr. Jennifer Preiss.

It's all about the numbers - like how cold is it outside and how long have the kids been outside.

"If it's between 20 to 30 you actually really need to be even more careful and have the kids come check in every 15 to 20 minutes," Dr. Preiss said.

If it's colder than that, as in the teens and with windchill, kids should not be outside at all, Dr. Preiss explained.

"If they're actively shivering, that's a really important sign," she said. "If you're looking at exposed body parts and they're blue or puffy, they're very important signs."

Other signs hypothermia could be setting in is if a child seems tired and is moving strangely.

"If they're completely lethargic sort of acting very confused, that's actually when you need to call 9-1-1," Dr. Preiss warned.

She also added it's a good idea to change wet clothes, dry the child off, and then give them something warm to drink.

View CBS News In
CBS News App Open
Chrome Safari Continue
Be the first to know
Get browser notifications for breaking news, live events, and exclusive reporting.