Staying Safe Outdoors This Winter

Since young children are less likely to recognize when they are cold, or need to take a break from the frigid temps, it’s up to parents and caretakers to keep them safe during the winter months. Check out these important tips to ensure your kids stay are protected so they don’t miss out on any winter fun!

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  1. While it may be easier to make snowballs in gloves, mittens will keep your child’s hands warmer! Mittens tend to have a smaller surface area, which reduces heat loss and allows fingers to have skin-to-skin contact and therefore share body heat!
  2. Caution on the Cotton! Cotton holds moisture and therefore loses its insulating properties much quicker. Select fabrics such as merino wool or polypropylene as they wick moisture away from the skin and keep you toasty warm!
  3. Layers, layers, and more layers! Children should wear several layers of loose-fitting, light clothing to keep any moisture away from the skin. Wet layers should be taken off immediately to keep children warm and dry.
  4. Time flies by when you’re having fun, but it’s important for your child take frequent breaks from the cold. This will allow them time to warm up, rehydrate, reapply sunscreen, and take a breather before heading back outdoors.
  5. Even on a cloudy day at the beach, it’s still possible to get sunburn; the same goes for the winter months! Be sure to apply sunscreen to all exposed areas, as sun rays can reflect off of the snow and cause the same skin damage as the summer sun.
  6. The air is much drier during the winter months, meaning kids lose more water through their breath. Make sure your child is drinking plenty of water to prevent dehydration.
  7. When the wind-chill is above 32°F, it is safe for your child to be outdoors if properly dressed for the winter conditions. However, it is still important to watch for signs of children becoming uncomfortable while playing.
  8. When the temperature is between 13°F and 31°F, your child should take frequent indoor breaks every 20-30 minutes to warm up, dry their clothes, and rehydrate.
  9. Wind-chills below 13°F are an indication that all activities should be moved indoors. At these temperatures, frostbite can occur within minutes. Signs of frostbite include: white patches of skin, numbness, and a burning sensation.

 

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