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School closed, kids go looking for outdoor fun

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The snow and ice caused plenty of sliding Wednesday — and not just into ditches.

Rachael Tinsley, 6, and her mother, Andrea, braved the wind chill that dropped into the teens to sled down the amphitheater hill at Mill Race Park.

For the past six snow days, Rachael has been holing up to play games and drink hot chocolate. But this snow — about 3 or 4 inches with a thin layer of ice on top — was just right for sledding.

“The snow is a little crunchy,” she said. “It’s fast and fun, but I just sometimes fall onto my belly.”

Aidan Rich, 6, and Kellen Rich, 4, also were exploring what happens when the sled goes too fast.

“Sometimes it hurts your face when you fall,” Aidan said.

And that happened a lot. The brothers experimented with different positions — sometimes sitting toward the back of the sled and sometimes leaning in the opposite direction the sled was heading. Kellen was not scared. Not even when he went backward or ended up across Carl Miske Drive.

“I like rolling down the hill,” Kellen said. “It’s not scary going fast, and I like the cold.”

Kevin Terrell, emergency department medical director at Columbus Regional Health, said it’s that kind of behavior that keeps kids out of the hospital.

“They’ve been on the ball to make sure little Johnny doesn’t go too fast or get near a fence,” he said.

He reminded children to dress warm and stay away from bodies of water. Because of recent temperature fluctuations, he said ice is likely thinner than it looks. He said the most important thing parents can do is ask kids often if they are warm.

“Sometimes these kids are having too much fun, and they don’t want to say anything,” Terrell said. “Just ask, ‘How are you feeling? Are your feet getting too cold?’”

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