WICHITA, Kansas – With another arctic blast expected overnight, parents are being told to do what they can to keep their kids warm as they go to school in the morning.
USD 259 says there is no hard cut-off temperature to determine school closures but they’re monitoring the conditions to see whether school will stay in session.
“I think the most important thing you can do to keep your child warm is to make sure they dress in layers,” said Dr. Kevin Hoppock, a family physician at Via Christi. “Start with a T-shirt, then a sweatshirt, perhaps several layers will be more effective than one single thick layer.”
Another concern the school district has is the kids at bus stops. They say that they hope there will be ways to stay warm.
“Parents can wait by the school bus stop until the bus arrives and the kids stay in the car or if there’s a neighbor’s house that they’re comfortable with, that would certainly be another option,” said Larry Perlman from Chisholm Trail Elementary School.
Given tomorrow’s cold forecast, one likelihood is that if school is in session, recess and lunch will be held inside.
“About 20 degrees is the cut-off for wind chills for going outside,” said Perlman. “We really consider that and make sure that if it’s below or if there’s any risk involved, we make sure the students stay inside.”
Long exposure to cold can cause frostbite and hypothermia but Dr. Hoppock tells me with the right precautions those issues can be avoided.
“It’s when you’re exposed for long periods of time that you have to worry about hypothermia,” said Hoppock. “So keeping covered up will make the biggest difference there.”
For more information on potential school closures in Wichita, USD 259 has a weather hotline you can call. That number is 316-973-4259.