Keeping Your Kids Warm During Winter Months
Children love to play outside in the snow. Now, in the midst of a cold winter, is the perfect opportunity to review ways to help keep kids warm during these chilly months.
Cold Weather Risks
No parents want their kids to be cold or uncomfortable; however, these aren’t the only concerns when it comes to the winter weather. In fact, you can face some very serious risks when you don’t take freezing temperatures into account.
One dangerous risk from cold weather is hypothermia. This is caused when someone is exposed to below-normal temperatures. You may recognize the signs of hypothermia when your child shivers, becomes sluggish or speaks differently than usual. If this is the case, make sure your child is warming up with dry, warm clothes and be sure to call 911.
Another winter weather risk is frostbite. This happens – usually on fingers, toes, ears and nose – when the skin becomes frozen. You can recognize frostbite if any of these extremities become gray and blistered, or if the skin burns or feels numb. In this situation, you should submerge the frostbitten body part in warm water. For best results, leave it there for several minutes.
Babies and young children are more sensitive to cold temperatures. Therefore, dressing them in layers is a great way to keep kids warm, safe and dry when they venture outside. In fact, keeping your child dry from the wet snow is essential. Adjust boots and sleeve cuffs to avoid any snow from getting to your child’s skin. Once they come inside, remove any wet clothing right away.
When preparing your children for the frosty cold outside, there are several outerwear essentials to keep in mind. Since much of our body heat is lost through the head and neck, a hat is a winter must-have. A close-fitting hat can prevent frostbite, especially when it covers the ears as well. Next, gloves or mittens will keep the hands consistently warm. Last, comfortable waterproof boots, with room for an additional pair of socks, should have a sole with a good grip to help kids stay balanced on icy surfaces. Last, as we yearn for summer, keep in mind that some summer rules apply in the winter! Sunglasses will protect eyes from the glare of light that reflects off of the snow, while sunscreen protects skin from the sun even when it is cold and cloudy.
In cold weather, young children should take breaks from the outdoors. Sure, there may be some complaints that you’re breaking up the fun. However, a warm drink, and a break from snowy temperatures, can make all the difference for their safety. That said, if temperatures are below 16 degrees, children should stay inside to avoid the risks outlined above.
Sometimes, there are exceptions to the rule. For instance, while wearing a coat during winter months is a smart idea, a child should not wear a coat when they are in a car seat. Thin, layered blankets will protect a baby or child much better.
Speaking of blankets, they should never find their way into your child’s crib no matter how cold the weather may be. Cribs should be free of fabrics and other items as they cause a suffocation risk. This is a leading cause of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome, which is often referred to as SIDS. Instead, use a swaddle to wrap the baby tightly to keep them warm and cozy. It keeps kids warm without the risk!
Now you know the best way to protect your kids from the cold weather and keep them safe as a result!