Winter is a magical time of the year for kids where they get to run and play in the snow, go sledding, ice skating, and more. But it can also be very dangerous, especially for younger children. Extreme weather conditions such as record-low temperatures, snow and strong winds can easily turn a fun afternoon into a disaster. However, you don’t have to have kids, even the younger ones, holed up inside the house all winter long to keep them safe.
Layer, layer, and layer some more!
Freezing temperatures don’t have to mean frosty fingers and toes. Bitter, cold weather can cause frostbite. For babies, who lose heat rapidly, putting on layers of warm clothes is crucial to keeping them healthy and safe. Make sure their head, neck and hands are covered. If you live in places with snow, be sure their shoes are snow or waterproof. A good rule to follow is dressing kids in one more layer than an adult would wear in the same situation.
Make sure they’re drinking more liquids
Although they may not be sweating, the bitter winter weather causes a lack of moisture in the air, making liquids (especially water) more important to drink. Whether it’s a glass of water they’re gulping down or even warm liquids such as non-caffeinated teas, ciders, or soups. Ensuring kids stay hydrated during the wintertime is crucial. Keep track of how much kids are drinking and be sure they take breaks during time outside to come in, warm up, and having something to drink.
Invest in protective clothing or gear
Black ice, slippery sidewalks and snow-covered grounds are a formula for more injuries. For younger kids that are just learning to walk, investing in protective gear or clothing that can cushion their inevitable falls is important. Sandra Aris creates warm pants for kids with pads integrated in the knee and butt areas that protect them from bumps and bruises and help them get back up after they fall.
Keep an eye on the weather
Light snow showers have the ability to turn into snowstorms quickly. If you plan on going outside, especially with children, be sure to keep an eye on the weather and notice if it’s picking up. Again, understanding that younger kids can’t regulate their body heat as well as adults is important. If you’re cold, they’re likely even colder. Keep in mind windchill temperatures as well and have kids head back inside if it becomes too cold out.
Most importantly, however, parents should remember to enjoy their time outside to play, laugh and make memories with kids that will last a lifetime.
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