If your kids have cabin fever or a snow day off from school, you may be eager to send them outside to play. While snow can be an exciting element, filled with possibilities, it can also be filled with danger when not treated with respect. Help your kids to understand the potential dangers and keep them safe while they enjoy a winter day.
When your kids start begging to go outside, you need to get them all bundled up. Kids can sometimes get excited about their adventures and reluctant about getting stuck in some stuffy suit. Remind them of the importance of the warmth and insist they cover their skin. If your kids want to play in the snow, making snow men and angels, put them in clothes that will keep that icy moisture from making contact with their skin. Snow suits and moisture-proof gloves and mittens will keep away frostbite. Cover their ears with muffs and hats.
Remember that even in the coldest winter, UVAs and UVBs are still a concern. If your kids are going to be out for long periods of time, put sunscreen on any exposed skin, such as the face. Keep kids away from water. Young kids might be tempted to a pool of water, and any kids might be intrigued with a frozen pond. Don’t let them play on or near these unless the pond has been approved for skating. If there is a harsh wind, remember the whipping breeze will lower the wind chill.
Everything In Moderation
While playing outside, shoveling snow and making snowmen can be a great way to get some exercise and burn some energy in the winter, the chilly temps can lead to hypothermia, frostbite and other problems if your kids are exposed for too long. Limit the amount of time they can spend outside. Set a time for 30 minutes or an hour, depending on their age. When the timer goes off, it’s time to come inside, drink some cocoa and rest.
If your kids love to sled, ski or skate, take the same precautions as you would with other winter activities. Give them sunscreen and an insulated container full of warm liquids to keep them hydrated. Make sure they are wearing enough to keep them warm and bump free in the case of a fall. Put helmets on young kids and keep the area around them clear of items they could crash into or trip on.
Keep An Eye On Weather
Keep the weather on the TV or radio and listen for changes. Bring kids inside if harsh winds are to pick up, or a if a blizzard is to come through. Keep an eye on the temperature, and follow warnings carefully.