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Keeping Kids and Infants Safe in the Cold

CEDAR RAPIDS, IA (CBS 2/FOX 28) -- The temperatures continue to fall across eastern Iowa, forcing many people to bundle up as they brave the elements. That includes those that are among the most vulnerable to the cold - infants and young children.

It means parents are doing what they can to keep their kids warm and opening up their wallets.

We bought new coats, new pants, for the snow, and new gloves and mittens, parent Tom Hamilton said. "400 bucks on a couple of them.

Dr. Charles Jennissen with UI Hospitals and Clinics says when it comes to kids and the cold, coats and mittens aren't the only concern you have to monitor their activity.

When children are outside playing, they're just going to keep playing and playing, and they might play through some of that feeling of their nose and fingers starting to feel numb."

Dr. Jennissen says you have to be even more careful with smaller children and infants, starting with the moment you buckle them into their car seat

You really need to get the child out of that bulky parka or coat and put them in a seat belt, Jennissen said.

He says the seat restraints may not fit well over all the bulk, increasing the chances your child gets injured in an accident.

Once they are out of the car, the doctor says keep an eye on your baby's temperature. Infants have a harder time regulating their temperature, but you shouldnt gauge it with their hands and feet.

You really should check the back of their neck or their back to see if they're cold, Jennissen said. If that's cold they probably are cold.

When you're ready to tuck them in after a long day, don't crank up the heat.

Really 68 to 72 degrees is a fine temperature setting, the doctor advised.

Don't bundle your infant up too much in bed either he says. A simple blankie or a onesie will do.

Doctors emphasize don't overdress your kids. If you need help, theres a simple rule of thumb you can use. Put your child in one extra layer than you are wearing before you head out. For example if you are only wear two layers, make sure they are wearing three.
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