Building a snowman!
Having a snowball fight!
Making snow angels!
There’s so much fun to be had on a snow day! But when it’s cold outside, it can be tempting to keep your kids inside where it’s toasty and warm. To stay healthy and have fun though we want kids to get outside all year long! Here are ways to keep them safe while they get outside and enjoy the winter fun.
Keep them warm!
It’s important to protect your children from the elements. Hypothermia, frostbite, and sunburn (yes, sunburn!) are hazards during cold weather. Dress them warmly before they head out. Several thin layers are best for keeping them warm and dry. Add long johns when its very cold. Dress infants and young children in one more layer than you would wear. (Keep in mind that infants and small children riding in a car seat should wear thin snug layers rather than bulky outerwear for optimal protection.) Be sure all kids wear hats … significant body heat is lost through the head. And don’t forget gloves, warm socks (two pairs), and boots.
Hand and Foot Warmers: How To Use Them for Fun and Warmth!
Hand and toe warmers are a must-have for prolonged exposure and severe cold (for parents too!). Read the directions, use them correctly. Direct contact with the skin can cause burns so never use with infants! Glove liners are a great option–place the hand warmer between the glove and the liner and place foot warmers between your sock and boot. Avoid using with ventilated gloves or boots as warmers become extremely hot with continued exposure to air. D
Sunscreen is a must!
Sunburns happen in the winter especially when the sun reflects off snow or ice especially when you are skiing/snowboarding at higher elevations. SPFs of 30 are high enough but reapply frequently to ensure good protection.
Warm up with a cocoa break!
Be sure to set reasonable time limits to playing outside in cold weather. Make sure your kids have a place to warm up. They should come in periodically on really cold days. Avoid outdoor activities when the temperature or wind chill is less than 0 degrees Fahrenheit as exposed skin can freeze quickly.
Signs of Hypothermia or Frostbite Need Immediate Attention!
Hypothermia occurs when the body temperature drops below normal. This may occur when clothes are inadequate or when they get wet. Your child may be developing hypothermia if he/she is shivering, sluggish, and/or clumsy. If this occurs, call 911, take your child inside, remove wet clothing, and put on warm clothes or a blanket.
Frost bite develops when the skin and underlying tissues freeze. Fingers, toes, ears, nose, and lips become red, then grey, then white with blisters. They tingle, become painful, and finally lose all feeling. If this happens, you should get your child inside and place the affected area in warm (not hot) water or cover with a warm washcloth for a few minutes. Give ibuprofen (Motrin, Advil) or acetaminophen (Tylenol) for the pain that occurs as the skin thaws. Cover your child with warm clothes or blankets, give him something warm to drink, and seek medical care right away.
Some Final Snow Activity Tips
If your children participate in winter sports activities such as ice-skating, sledding, snow-skiing, snowboarding, or snowmobiling, take precautions to keep them safe and injury-free.
- Make sure they are not doing the activity alone – young children should be supervised by an adult – older ones should stay with a buddy
- Use helmets and other protective gear
- Skate in the direction of the crowd
- Sled feet-first or sitting up … never head first
- Make sure sledding, skiing, and snowboarding slopes are free of trees and other obstacles and are not overcrowded
- Children under 16 years should not operate snowmobiles and children under 6 years should not ride on snowmobiles
- Snowmobiles need to be operated at a safe speed
- Snowmobiles should be used only on marked trails
- No snowmobiling at night
Stay warm … stay safe … Happy Snow Day!