With sub-freezing temperatures, being prepared is key to staying safe at Chiefs rally, parade

Kansas City Chiefs

KANSAS CITY Mo. (WDAF) – Chiefs fans are expert tailgaters in any weather, but standing outside for the Super Bowl victory parade and rally is a different beast.

Being too cold will ruin the experience and could land you in the hospital.

Layers, layers and more layers are the mantra for Wednesday’s cold, outdoor celebration. What you put on your body will determine what happens inside your body.

To make sure you’re covered, try your outfit ON ahead of time. It should not be a pleasant experience, KU Hospital emergency Dr. Andrew Pirotte said.

“If you’re like feeling pretty warm inside, that’s not sufficient,” Pirotte said. “You need to be almost sweating when you’re inside.”

Pirotte’s main concern for the Chiefs parade and rally is frostbite, which happens mostly in the fingers and toes. The tissue freezes and forms ice crystals, killing tissue.

The warning signs for frostbite are tingling and pain that leads to numbness. Hypothermia is also a concern.

“If you start feeling better, that’s a big warning sign. So, classically with like a hypothermic patient who is truly in trouble, before they become an emergent case they’ll start feeling pretty good, say, ‘Now I`m not actually that that cold.’ Sometimes they will actually say they feel warm, and that’s a big red flag.”

Darnell Tunley, manager of E. Edwards Workwear, keeps people warm for a living, selling insulated clothing to folks who work outdoors.

He said the key is to have a snug base layer to keep air away from your skin and then layer on top of it: a turtle neck, sweater and coat on top, jeans and bib pants on the bottom.

“I would do everything, everything you possibly can. You are not going to be moving around a lot so you want to stay warm,” Tunley said. “You might look like a marshmallow man standing there like that, but you do want to stay warm.”

If you’re at the celebration and feel tingling, pain and numbness in your fingers and toes, those are sure signs you are headed for trouble.

To prevent tissue damage, get out of the cold immediately.

But don’t put your hands in hot water. Take off the layers surrounding the area to let the air circulate and blood flow to warm up.

Being bulked up in layers to keep warm and surrounded by a large crowd of a million or so people expected downtown could also cause other issues, like anxiety and claustrophobia.

“We see people to get really claustrophobic, they take short shallow breaths, and that leads to the kind of subsequent issues. So it’s really trying to stay centered and present and breathing through the process,” Pirotte said about how to avoid crowd-related anxiety issues.

Children get cold much faster than adults and may not always recognize signs of temperature-related injuries. So a couch party watching the parade on FOX4 may be the best way for little ones to celebrate.

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