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Cold days ahead, how parents can keep their kids occupied both inside and outside

When is it safe to send your kids outside in this cold? Local pediatrician weighs in.

MINNEAPOLIS — This weekend will put a lot of us in a tough spot, balancing the overwhelming need to go out and do something in the dangerously cold temps this weekend.

Dr. Krishnan Subrahmanian at Hennepin Healthcare, says we've all felt that overwhelming need to get out of the house, and kids are feeling it too.

"Prepare them for this week. Recognize that this is not going to be one day and warmer. We're talking about five or six days where it's really, really cold,” Subrahmanian says.

He says a good rule to follow is, when wind chills are negative 15-degrees or colder, you should probably stay inside and keep the kids inside too.

But if the wind chill is closer to negative five or zero....

"Then I think kids can go outside. Twenty minutes and then bring them back in, while of course doing lots of layering,” Subrahmanian says.

The National Weather Service has a helpful chart that breaks down how fast frostbite can set in at various temperatures.

According to the chart, when the temperature is zero degrees, and the wind chill is at negative 22 degrees, frostbite can develop in less than 30 minutes.

So, instead of going outside, Subrahmanian recommends setting up some indoor activities and mark them on your calendar.

"So like, on Tuesday, we're going to do this big thing together. On Wednesday, we're going to do that big thing together. Even if that might not be an outdoor activity, at least it's something for our kids to look forward to, and for us to look forward to,” Subrahmanian says.

And you should make sure some of those activities are active so you can move around and burn some energy.

Subrahmanian says that will help with the winter blues and cabin fever.

Some fun family-friendly ideas include hosting an indoor picnic, building a fort, or an indoor tent, and movie nights with popcorn and snacks.

You might also want to try cooking a special meal together as a family.

Subrahmanian also recommends these websites that offer fun ways for kids to stay active indoors:



-Spell Your Name Workout 

-Kids Heart Challenge

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