The weather doesn’t stop kids from wanting to play outdoors – especially when it’s really cold or snowing outside. Simply put: Kids will be playing outside in winter.
The cold weather means that parents and kids need to take certain precautions and be more careful. A snow day can be lots of fun, but it can also be dangerous when your kids are not prepared and you don’t teach them about certain safety measures.
Christina Plejdrup, mom inventor of the Minkey, a 3-in-1 hat & winter garment for kids, shares five safety tips for playing outside in winter.
1. Make sure your kids wear layers
When children are running around playing they tend to feel hot, but that doesn’t mean they can go outside in just a sweater. They still need to wear proper clothing to conserve heat and prevent hypothermia. A good tip is to make them wear a polyester inner layer, a waterproof coat or snowsuit, and winter accessories like a hat, gloves, and scarf. The Minkey, for example, is a 3-in-1 winter garment that combines a hat, scarf, and gloves all in one easy to put on article of clothing and might do the trick as well.
2. Keep children hydrated
When the temperature outside is cold, we don’t always realize when we are thirsty. Active children who are running around will sweat more and can become dehydrated. Have your child bring a water bottle with him to stay hydrated or call him inside for a hot chocolate break.
3. Look out for hypothermia
Hypothermia is an issue that occurs when a child’s body temperature falls below normal due to exposure to colder temperatures. Keep your children informed about hypothermia and teach them the symptoms to look out for. If their clothes get wet or they keep shivering, become lethargic, or have slurred speech, they need to go inside and tell an adult.
4. Be careful ice skating
Never let your child go ice skating in an area that has not been approved by local police or recreation departments. Teach your children to skate in the same direction as the crowd, skate in pairs, and avoid chewing gum or candy while skating. If your child is just learning how to skate, consider giving them a helmet and kneepads to use as a safety precaution.
5. Wear bright colors
Pedestrians are three times more likely to get hit by a car after the fall change than they are in any other time of the year, especially after the first snowfall. This is because drivers have a hard time adjusting to the changing light. Winter outerwear for kids often comes in bright, neon colors for this reason. If your kid’s winter clothes aren’t bright, you can purchase some reflective tape to put on your child’s coat, sleeves, and snow pants.