East Tennessee daycares keep kids inside, safe from freezing temps

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KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) - Frigid, freezing and chilly temperatures have swept through and stayed in East Tennessee this week. Many schools and daycares are having to remind kids that it's too cold to go outside, but there's a decision making process when it comes to keeping kids indoors during severe weather.

Kids at Little People Preschool spent Friday morning playing with a parachute inside to get their muscles going and keep boredom at bay.

"They ask everyday 'Is it warm enough to go outside? No, not today,'"
said owner Mary Bowlin.

Her preschool, like many others, has a policy they follow when winter weather is at its worst.

"Thirty-two and below we do not go outside and even if it's above 32 degrees and the wind chill makes it feel less than 32, we do not go outside,"
said Bowlin.

When kids are inside, teachers get creative to burn off that extra energy.

"Sometimes we'll even do yoga with the kids, exercises, jumping jacks. We can incorporate inside things. The after school class has a bowling pin set,"
added Bowlin.

Each day little ones come in with winter clothing, but Bowlin and the teachers remind parents to have a coat, hat, and gloves for when kids can go back on the playground.

"And we enforce them wearing that outside, even if they do get warm, they gotta keep that on."

Next week is going to be cold, as well, and while kids don't have cabin fever just yet, lesson plans are pretty much the same.

"Just keep the kids occupied so they won't miss going outside and have as much fun inside,"
said Bowlin.

If you do let your kids spend some time outside over the coming days, it's important to pay attention to signs and symptoms of frostbite and hypothermia.

The CDC says when it comes to frostbite, there will be redness or pain on your nose, ears, toes, cheeks, chin and fingers. Skin may also look white or grayish-yellow.

With hypothermia, the CDC says it's important to pay attention to shivering and other signs which are confusion, exhaustion, and slurred speech. For babies, signs include bright red, cold skin. If someone's temperature is below 95 degrees, get them medical help immediately.

While we all know to wear warm gear when outside to avoid sickness, underneath all that, the CDC suggests you wear wool, silk or thermal long-johns because they hold in more body heat than cotton.