Beware ice, frostbite when letting kids play outside in the snow

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It's our first big snowfall, so the kids are surely eager to get outside.

Here's some risks doctors say to be aware of, though, especially when it's bitter cold outside like we'll be seeing later this week. Temps on Wednesday aren't expected to get over 0 degrees.

One thing that causes problems and injuries for people of all ages: ice. Especially black ice.

"It might not be obviously snowing and, or, have obvious thick inches of snow, but the black, slippery ice when the kids are running down the driveway to catch the bus or they're coming back home, or just playing outside, to be very mindful and careful with that," reminds Dr. Purva Grover from Cleveland Clinic Children's. 

She says dressing warm with multiple layers is always a good idea, as multiple layers keep children more insulated from the cold.

It can be easy to forget when it's not hot outside that children can become dehydrated in the winter too, so make sure kids are taking water breaks when playing outdoors for extended periods of time.

Frostbite is also a concern for children playing out in the cold.

Dr. Grover says it's important for kids to not only stay warm, but also dry because the combination of wet and cold is more likely to cause frostbite. And, if children are playing outside and wearing shoes instead of boots, if those shoes get wet, it can set them up for frostbite.

Temperatures above freezing still pose a frostbite risk, so it's critical to pay attention to weather conditions and the amount of time kids spend outside.

"It might be 33, 34 degrees and, or, sunny but if the kids are going to be playing outside and are outside for recess and things like that for a longer time, keeping in mind the wind chills and stuff, it's something to strongly think about," Dr. Grover cautions.

For older children who like to help out with snow shoveling duties, Dr. Grover says it's important to make sure they're shoveling correctly because children can get back injuries just like adults. 

Bend at your knees and scoop up small amounts - and warm up before you go outside to shovel.