CBC Kids | Play Games, Watch Video, Explore


6 frigid facts about being out in the cold!



When it gets cold outside and the snow is falling, it can be fun to head out and build some snowmen, throw some snowballs or even go tobogganing. Did you ever wonder about what happens to your body when you're out in the cold weather?

We shiver when we get cold to stay warm

three kids bundled up for winter lying in a snow mound


When we shiver, our bodies do the opposite of sweating. Shivering tightens the skin and shakes the muscles, a process that conserves and generates heat. Sweating, on the other hand, helps cool the body by putting a layer of liquid on to the skin.

The colder it is, the more your nose runs

little girl outside in the snow blowing her nose into a tissue


One of the main functions of our nose is to warm the air we breathe so that when it reaches our lungs, it's comfortable. In order to do this, the nose has to add some moisture to it. When it's very cold out, the nose has to work overtime to add some fluid. If it really makes a lot of fluid, then your nose begins to run!

Your fingers and toes get left out in the cold

3 pairs of feet with funny sock on them in front of a fire


Your body preserves heat by making sure your internal organs stay warm. This reduces the flow of blood to your fingers and toes so it's much easier for them to get cold. They need extra protection during the cold — time to wear your favourite striped socks!

Your skin can actually freeze

a young girl dressed up warm for winter is blowing hot breath onto her mittened hands to keep them warm


Frostbite is the freezing of skin caused by exposure to extreme cold. This usually happens to the tips of the nose, the fingers or the toes. So bundle up!

Dressing warm will keep you safe

2 young girls all bundled up getting ready to slide down a snowy hill on their toboggan

123rf/Noriko Cooper

Hypothermia is when your body temperature is too low from extreme cold and your organs — like your heart, kidneys and lungs — can't function properly. This can be prevented by dressing appropriately for the weather and keeping your skin dry.

The coldest place in Canada

Did you know that the coldest temperature ever recorded in Canada was way back in 1947? That winter they recorded -63 C in Snag, Yukon, on February 3. Brrrr, that's cold! Today, no one lives in Snag — it was closed in 2006.