Fort Worth, TX,
11:54 AM

Winter Weather: Dangerous Conditions Begin Sunday

An Arctic blast is headed for North Texas, and now is the time to prepare.

The National Weather Service is calling for dangerously cold temperatures, which will remain below freezing Saturday night through Wednesday morning for nearly all of North and Central Texas.

A wintery mix of snow and freezing rain is expected Sunday night through Monday. Amounts are forecasted to remain relatively low; however, anything that falls will likely result in impacts given the very cold air that will already be in place.

The best thing you can do is to have a plan in place to keep your family safe and warm through this first taste of winter.

Take these tips from MedStar on what a winter weather plan should include:

  • Make sure that you have important phone numbers, including your health care providers, pharmacy, and veterinarian.
  • Assure you have enough medication for several days on hand.
  • If you rely on medical devices in your home, have a backup plan in case you lose power for an extended period of time, such as a backup generator or battery pack and backup oxygen bottles.
  • Have a communication plan for your family.
  • Know how to get reliable information during the storm.
  • Gather supplies in case you need to stay home for several days without power.

Dress Warmly

  • Make sure newborns are dressed appropriately. Dress them in layers and cover their heads, hands and feet.
  • For the most warmth, dress your little ones in wool instead of cotton. Essential winter items include hats and gloves, as well as sweatshirts or T-shirts that can be layered under overcoats or jackets.
  • Blue skin, shivering and a cool chest and stomach are signs that children may be dangerously cold. If you see these signs, take action immediately to get kids out of the cold. Seek immediate medical attention if you're not able to warm the body.

Keep an eye out for signs of hypothermia.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), hypothermia, or abnormally low body temperature, "is a dangerous condition that can occur when a person is exposed to extremely cold temperatures." 

Warning signs for adults include:

  • Shivering, exhaustion
  • Confusion, fumbling hands
  • Memory loss, slurred speech drowsiness

Warning signs for infants include:

  • Bright red, cold skin
  • Very low energy

Victims of hypothermia can include babies sleeping in cold rooms.

If the power goes out, be very cautious of carbon monoxide.

During the Texas winter storm in February 2021, Cook Children’s treated 13 patients for carbon monoxide poisoning in one night. 

Here are some tips for keeping your family safe during this time:

  • Don’t use anything such as a BBQ grill or propane tank to heat your home.
  • Don’t run a vehicle inside of a garage attached to your home.
  • Don’t heat your home with a gas oven or stovetop.
  • Don’t burn charcoal inside your home.
  • Do seek medical attention if you suspect carbon monoxide poisoning.
  • Do ensure the carbon monoxide detectors in your home are properly functioning and installed in areas that will wake you if it alarms.
  • Do check for local resources, such as warming shelters, to keep your family safe.

Signs of carbon monoxide poisoning can include:

  • Headache
  • Nausea
  • Dizziness
  • Vomiting
  • Upset Stomach
  • Chest Pain
  • Confusion
  • Flu-like symptoms

If you have to travel, have a plan in place to keep yourself and your child safe.

Proper car seat use is one of the most critical ways parents can keep their young children safe when driving during inclement weather conditions. Here are a few safety tips to consider:

  • Don’t strap your children into their car seats with their heavy coats on. In a crash, padding from a coat or thick layers will flatten out, leaving room under the car seat harness. This increases the risk of a child slipping through the straps and being thrown from the car seat. Instead, dress your child in thin layers. Once buckled up, slip the coat on backward with the sleeves on the child’s arms. This way, the coat acts as a blanket and doesn’t affect the fit of the harness.
  • Give yourself extra time to get where you are going. And don't forget to account for traffic. 
  • Pack an emergency bag for your car. It’s a good idea to have blankets, warm clothing, hats, and gloves available in case you become stuck in winter weather. You’ll also want to have nonperishable snacks packed away.
  • Avoid overpasses if possible. Plan alternate routes to your destination and avoid high traffic areas when possible.
  • Give yourself enough space from the car in front of you to gradually brake. When weather conditions are poor, give yourself double the time it normally takes to come to a complete stop.

Inclement weather may cause many of our primary care offices and specialty clinics to close or delay openings. Click here to view closure updates and delayed openings at our Cook Children's locations.