How to Keep Kids Warm in Winter
We all know the moment we log into Facebook on a cold day that we’ll be met with a litany of posts about why our friends’ children have to wait outside in the cold weather for the school bus. Well, a lot of that is out of our control, but what we can all control is how we dress and prepare our children for the cold. While the snow falls outside, here are some really great tips to keep your kids warm and away from the hospital this winter season:
- The standard rule is dress your kids in layers, and dress them in one more layer than what an adult would wear. So if you are going to wait outside with them, make sure they have an additional layer of clothing.
- Nylon or silk as the base layer does much better than cotton as the first layer. It helps wick away moisture.
- Gloves, hats, scarves, and other winter accessories have been around for hundreds of years for a reason.
- Layers outperform one really warm coat.
- Bundle infants in warm one-piece outfits instead of using blankets and bedding (in cribs, car seats, and so on).
- Check on kids outside every hour. Any wet clothing should be replaced by dry clothing. If they need to come into the home for 10-20 minutes to warm up, encourage it.
- If your child has white spots developing on their skin, is lethargic, or is slurring speech, then call 911 right away. These are signs of hypothermia.
- Do not use hot water to combat the cold. Warm water is much better and prevents the possibilities of burns (extremely cold skin can’t tell the water is too hot).
- Warm the inside and the outside. Give your child some hot chocolate or milk to warm up. In the mornings, before the bus comes, make sure your child has a good breakfast.
- Boil water or use a humidifier to combat bloody noses in the winter.
- Keep additional blankets in the car, just in case.
- Hot Hands are an amazing product. Give your kid a pack right before school, and they’ll still be warm for the bus ride home, too.
- If you can, drive your kids to school on cold days. If not, at least let them sit in the car with you at the bus stop where you can keep the engine running and the heat on.
- Don’t let kids play outdoors alone in the winter.
- Any temperatures below 15 (wind chill, too) will freeze the skin. Do not send your children outside to play in these temperatures.
- Encourage your children to play outdoors near a warm area—either your house or a friend’s house, a shelter, or even a business is better than 20 minutes into the woods.
- Remember, any children outdoors who aren’t moving around need extra warmth—a baby in a harness, a child being pulled in a sled, and so on all prevent the warmth generation that moving around creates.
- Do not play anywhere near the streets, snowplows, etc.
- Don’t eat snow, especially the yellow stuff.
Keeping kids safe and healthy during the winter is just a matter of taking extra care to make the right decisions before sending them outside, and having the right pieces in place in case an emergency occurs. Always keep an eye outside when your kids are playing. Also, if needed, know you can call your school and arrange a closer bus stop if your child has to wait outside for long periods of time in the mornings.
Henry Duckstein Jr.