Winter Health and Safety
When snow begins to fall, it calls to most children like a flame to a moth. Parents scramble to bundle their kids in as many layers and essential winter accessories as they can before the race to a snowy adventure begins. But since the snowy season also poses risks, we’ve compiled some useful tips for winter health and safety. This includes some even the most prepared parents may have missed! Read on to find out the best ways to keep your kids safe this winter.
How cold is too cold?
An important starting point is to understand when cold is too cold! The wind-chill factor can cause the temperature to feel much colder than it actually is, and should be considered when checking the weather. A temperature below 20 degrees Fahrenheit is cause for concern and should be off-limits for playtime. Between 20 and 30 degrees, children should take indoor breaks every 20 to 30 minutes (let’s call it the “20/30 Rule”). Above 30 degrees Fahrenheit is the most ideal range for winter play. Even then, parents should encourage indoor breaks every 40 minutes or so. If your child is shivering, it’s time for a long break, as shivering is a key sign of potential hypothermia.
A really hot shower feels great after some time outside in the cold, but this can actually be harmful to the skin during winter months; hot water and traditional bar soaps can strip skin of moisture and oils. Consider changing your soap to something with an oatmeal base or a milder soap like castile. You should also use warm instead of hot water when bathing. Furthermore, sunscreen is important during winter months; the sun can reflect off snow, burning the skin just as easily as the sun in summer.