Winter Weather: Dangerous Travel Through Wednesday
Most counties in North Texas are under an Ice Storm Warning or Winter Storm Warning.
Inclement Weather: Click here to view closures and delayed openings at our Cook Children's locations. Although offices may be physically closed, phones are still being answered and virtual appointments are an option at several locations.
Many counties in North Texas are under an Ice Storm Warning or a Winter Storm Warning. Travel conditions are expected to worsen as additional sleet and freezing rain deteriorates roads areawide. Travel is NOT recommended, according to the National Weather Service. Delay or plan alternate routes for travel. Slow down when driving and allow for additional travel time.
Ice has the potential to accumulate on trees and power lines Wednesday afternoon into early Thursday morning, according to the National Weather Service. Prepare for tree limb breakage and localized power outages in this region.
Dozens of Cook Children’s staff members are preparing for another night of winter weather. About 70 employees are expected to spend a second night at Cook Children’s Medical Center - Fort Worth to ensure they’re ready to take care of the children who need them tomorrow.
In addition, our facilities crews have worked all day to make sure the roads and sidewalks around the Fort Worth and Prosper hospitals are safe. And our food services and environmental services teams are going above and beyond to make sure everyone working through the storm has clean sheets and warm meals. We are grateful for each and every one of them!
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.
If the power does go 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. Sam Selby, D.O., worked the overnight shift in the emergency department on Feb. 15, 2021 and saw families use propane or diesel-burning engines that are meant for outside use with adequate ventilation.
Dr. Selby described how families used generators inside or too close to their homes or garages to keep warm. Generators emit fumes and can cause carbon monoxide poisoning.
“Carbon monoxide poisoning prevents your blood from being able to bind to or carry oxygen. You suffocate while you are still breathing,” Dr. Selby explained.
Here are some additional ways to keep 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.
Coats & Car Seats
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.
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.
- Make sure newborns are dressed appropriately. "A good rule of thumb is to dress newborns in as many layers as you're wearing," said Diane Arnaout, M.D., Cook Children’s Medical Advisor for Digital Health. "That includes covering their heads, hands and feet. Those areas can lose a lot of heat and be harder to keep warm."
- 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 your body.
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." To learn more about the warning signs of hypothermia, click on this site from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
Warning signs for adults include:
- Shivering, exhaustion
- Confusion, fumbling hands
- Memory loss, slurred speech drowsiness
- Bright red, cold skin
- Very low energy
Victims of hypothermia can include babies sleeping in cold rooms.