KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- School districts across the metro canceled class Tuesday. With wind chills approaching 25 degrees below zero, it was just too cold.
But 41 Action News found several children outside playing in the cold. Luke, Jack and Reid were building forts and hurling snowballs at each other.
Doctors at the University of Kansas Health System said the cold weather is nothing to play with, as many patients learned during New Year’s Eve weekend.
“In fact, we saw about 13 to 15 patients. No, even more than 15 patients with frostbite,” Dr. Dhaval Bhavsar told 41 Action News.
Bhavsar said some even lost limbs. That’s why he said he understands the decision to cancel classes.
“I think it needed to be canceled. I think children need to be careful if they’re going out and playing,” he said.
Realizing the need for her and her boys to stay warm, mom Erica Creger had a bit of a compromise with her two boys, Luke and Jack, and their friend Reid.
“I told them to make sure they had all their body parts covered and they were dressed in layers. And I told them they could come out for a little bit, but then they’d have to come in and get warm, and then they can come back out. I’m just keeping a close eye on them,” Creger said.
Doctors say it’s especially important to keep close tabs on children during this cold snap. For healthy adults dressed in proper layers, frostbite can occur in under half an hour. Bhavsar said it can happen even faster with children.
“It can be in the range of 15 to 20 minutes because their skin is much thinner,” Bhavsar said.
Experts stress the importance of dressing in several layers and limiting time outdoors. Bhavsar said if you don’t, it could have irreversible consequences.
“Don’t do something you may regret for life,” he advised.