Schools delay on icy morning

Many kids in central Indiana will board the bus two hours later than usual Tuesday.

Some schools systems made the call yesterday. Others such as IPS are waiting to see if the cold becomes as bad as predicted today. So far, IPS is running on schedule.

But that's not the case in other areas.

In Fishers, along with bitter cold temperatures, there is also a thin coat of ice on neighborhood streets and in the parking lots of some schools.  Hamilton Southeastern Schools are on a 2-hour delay today.

But make no mistake, it is the wind chill that's the cause of schools calling for a later start time. A big reason for that decision is to make sure they have plenty of time to get their buses running after a weekend extended by the MLK holiday.

But most importantly is the safety of the kids who wait for those buses.

The wind knows no boundaries. Nothing in the wide open fields of Hendricks County stands in its way.

"You will feel the wind chill more out here," said Superintendent of North West Hendricks County Schools Richard King.

See the latest school closings and delays

The wind chill is what the wind carries across the open fields and it is what King has to guard his students and staff against. That, he says, was the reason he did not hesitate to call for a two-hour delay for Tuesday morning.

"The two hours will make it lighter and so students will be able to see the buses easier and stay in the house a little bit longer than going out and waiting for the bus," he said.

Delaying school for two hours is not about waiting for warmer temperatures. The delay gives the schools time to get buildings warmed up, buses moving and gives parents, teachers and school staff a little extra time in the morning to do the same.

But are these temperatures really that dangerous to kids?

Eyewitness News put that question to Dr. Robert Collins in the Riley Hospital for Children emergency room. His answer is yes.

"But really, just short periods of time in the exposed cold wind can result in frostbite in children and adults," Collins said.

There is no hard and fast rule that frostbite starts after 10 or 20 minutes. Collins says it depends on the person. Children with underlying health issues should get inside sooner than later. He stresses frostbite and cold weather injuries are not "cured" when you warm up.

"Then they are more susceptible to that in the future and that is clearly well-documented that cold injury to a child may result in life-long problems to that area of the body," he said.