KANSAS CITY, Mo. — The snow is falling at Arrowhead, and it won’t stop until Saturday.
Chiefs Kingdom is expected to fill the stadium parking lot with a sea of red, but there’s also going to be a lot of white – snow that is.
If you’re worried about the cold, a local frostbite expert has some tips on safely tailgate even in the snow — because what’s a playoff game at Arrowhead without a tailgate?
Kayla Northrop is a nurse and the burn coordinator at the University of Kansas Health System.
“People are very much at risk for developing hypothermia and especially frostbite,” Northrop said. “We’ve got cold weather coming in, and it’s going to be wet. And those are two things that can really damage the skin very quickly.”
The most important thing you can do, Northrop said, is dress accordingly in all the Chiefs gear you can get on your body.
“Tomorrow is the day you want to wear your snow boots,” Northrop said. “You want to wear your socks. The first layer being one that wicks the moisture away, and the second one being your wool socks.”
Even though the tailgate may be non-negotiable for many Chiefs fans, it can become dangerous. Redness and numbness to your limbs can turn into frostbite in a matter of minutes if your skin is exposed.
“When you get to that numbness, you’re kind of in trouble,” Northrop said. “You need to be inside, getting that wet stuff off. You need to be rewarming those areas, and you have to be careful when you’re rewarming.”
If you notice your skin turning grey, Northrop said you need to get help right away.
“If that sensation flips to a numbness so you can’t feel it at all, or the skin color starts to turn grey, that’s when that tissue has already had damage to it and you need to seek medical attention,” Northrop said.
She said make sure you are wearing waterproof clothing and shoes. Sneakers aren’t acceptable footwear in this weather, and everything on your feet should repel water.
“Cheer loud. But other than cheering loud, I really want people to make sure that they’re dressing in layers. I want them to stay dry and warm, and really enjoy the day, but enjoy the day safely,” Northrop said.
Northrop said if you do experience the early stages of frostbite, don’t shock your system.
Use warm water and a compress to bring up your temperature. Don’t rub your hands to warm them up and focus on finding a heat source instead.