Parent concerned with frigid wind chill temps expected later this week

January 03, 2018 06:13 PM

ROCHESTER—The wind-chill watch has many parents worried about their kids being outside over the next few days.  School districts in Monroe County are advised by the health commissioner to cancel school when the wind-chill hits -25.  But, ultimately it’s up to each district to decide whether children will be asked to walk to school or wait for the bus in the frigid temperatures.  

“That's too cold, that's way too cold for kids,” says Rochester City School District parent Vivian. She keeps her son bundled right up during the winter but she’s worried come Friday, it won’t be enough. “Kids have to wait outside far from home or outside their house for the bus… No, it's too cold for that,” she says. Kayleigh Hill, a mother of two, agrees. “I don't want them standing outside just for a second going to the bus,” she tells News10NBC.  

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The Rochester City School District says it understands the concerns of parents. "What we want is the safety of the children at all times and as a result we will take that first and foremost before we make any type of decision,” says Carlos Garcia, the assistant to the superintendent for communications.

RCSD and a number of other suburban school districts say they review wind-chill charts from the National Weather Service, they also look at other weather and traffic conditions and bus maintenance reports when deciding whether to cancel for a “cold day.” “It's not just a one-size fits all decision making process and it's not just by one person, there's a group of people who actually take a look and give their input but a decision is made,” Garcia says.

If the decision is that school will go on as normal, keep this in mind as you send your child out the door. "You can be out as little as 10 minutes and get frostbitten so in that instance, you want to cover every part of your body that you can,” according to Monroe County Health Commissioner Dr. Mike Mendoza.  

When it comes to knowing how long is too long to be outside, “frostbite is tough, sometimes you don't know it until it’s too late but if you're feeling cold at first, that's a good sign because you still feel your fingers and your toes and your nose... so that's the sign, once you start to feel numbness and tingling, get inside as fast as you can,” says Dr. Mendoza.


Wind-chill Chart from National Weather Service

Letter from County Health Department to School Superintendents

Rochester City School District WX Policy


Jennifer Lewke

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