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Ways To Keep Kids Safe Outside All Winter #wintertips #winter #wintertipsforkids

How To Keep Kids Safe Outside All Winter

The cold temperatures, snow and ice that come with winter weather does not have to mean your kids have to stay cooped up indoors all season long. While there are risks this time of year, including hypothermia and frost, you can take measures to allow outdoor play and protect your child. With these guidelines, your young child can enjoy outdoor play even once the snow starts flying without risk of injury or severe illness.

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how To Keep Kids Safe Outside All Winter  #wintertips #winter #wintertipsforkids

how To Keep Kids Safe Outside All Winter  #wintertips #winter #wintertipsforkids 

Be Cautious Around Frozen Bodies of Water

While your preschooler isn’t likely to head out to play hockey with friends on the neighborhood pond, you still need to use caution around ice. Never take your child or allow your child to play on ice that you are not certain is thick enough. It only takes a moment for a child to break through a thin spot and fall into the icy water.

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Protect Your Child’s Skin

Remember that your child’s skin is more sensitive to the cold than yours. It hasn’t had years to build up calluses and defenses against the cold. Make sure you provide proper protection by putting on sufficient layers to protect against the cold. Also, cover as much exposed skin as you can without making your child uncomfortable. Gloves, boots, hats and scarves in addition to the snow pants and coat when it is snowing out are essential. Choose gear that is water resistant, so your child does not end up with cold skin because the snow gear got soaked.

The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends layers. Even if you have great snow gear, the clothing underneath should be in layers to provide additional protection from dampness and cold. If the clothing becomes too wet, take your child inside to change, even though it is a hassle. Wet skin in the cold is a risk for frostbite.

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Know What is Too Cold 

Every child seems to have his or her own limit as to what is too cold for outdoor play. Children in Alaska, for example, are commonly seen outside when it is below zero, while children in Southern California will often be inside when it gets close to freezing. You need to know what temperature your child can tolerate, and be prepared to make adjustments if you take your kids outside and it’s just too cold. Keep in mind that the younger your child, the higher the risk for a cold-related injury.

While every child is different, these are some general guidelines to keep in mind:

 

  • 30 degrees (Fahrenheit) or higher is considered safe for outdoor play with appropriate clothing.
  • Between 20 and 30 degrees is usually safe for young children.
  • Below 20 degrees is the danger zone, and very young children should only be outdoors for a short length of time in most areas.

Also, be aware of the wind chill. If the wind is blowing, make the decision based on wind chill, not the air temperature. An air temperature of 32 degrees with a wind chill that makes it feel like 15 is still quite dangerous.

how To Keep Kids Safe Outside All Winter  #wintertips #winter #wintertipsforkids 

Know What Your Child Can Handle

Winter sports are a great way to encourage exercise and outdoor play, even in cold weather, but make sure your child is ready. If your child is 2 years old, simply climbing around on the snow is exercise. You can introduce winter sports by having your child ski between your legs on a gentle slope if you are a good skier.

Once your child hits age 3, then consider advancing to sledding with you, but always in a seated position. Three-year-olds should never sled head first, as they are more prone to neck injuries than adults and older children.

Between the ages of 4 and 6, most children are ready to learn basic skiing techniques form a qualified instructor. This is also an excellent time to introduce ice-skating, but only at a non-crowded rink so your child can learn. Wait until kindergarten for organized ice sports, like hockey.

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how To Keep Kids Safe Outside All Winter  #wintertips #winter #wintertipsforkids 

Remember, your children don’t have to be stuck indoors simply because winter is coming. Winter is an excellent time for outdoor play. Yes, it takes a little bit more work and preparation, but once you learn how to keep kids safe outside all winter, the results, including better exercise, improved health and more connection with nature, are worth the effort.

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how To Keep Kids Safe Outside All Winter  #wintertips #winter #wintertipsforkids 

About the author:

David Reeves is Marketing Manager of Playland Inc. (srpplayground.com) in Carrollton, GA. The company supplies playground equipment and play structures to several industries, including education and living facilities. They have a variety of structures and components, such as slides and swing sets, to fit in your indoor or outdoor play space.

how To Keep Kids Safe Outside All Winter  #wintertips #winter #wintertipsforkids 

Makeba Giles is a Digital Content Producer and Founder of Faith Health and Home, a digital space with information and resources for physical, emotional, and spiritual well-being to help families live an inspired lifestyle.

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