Here are some important health and safety tips to remember during these cold days. Tips provided from Dr. Jen Canter, a pediatrician and the developer of Play This Way and workingmother.com editor Helen Johnson.
Get Outside: Fresh air and exercise are a good thing! Don’t worry about the cold. It doesn’t make you sick, only over-exposure does. Schools should encourage outdoor recess and give kids time to dress and undress for the weather. Check your school’s policy so your children have the right clothes with them or work with your parents’ association to create a winter weather policy.
Frequent Breaks & Drinks: If the kids are spending a snow day outside, (playing, sledding, skiing, skating) bring them in each hour for warm-up breaks or if they complain of being cold or wet. They should drink water and other fluids as often as on a hot day!
Keep Them Dry & Warm: Dress them in layers including on the feet and hands (socks and glove liners that wick away moisture are good investments). In the snow, wear a waterproof outer layer. Keep the head covered in a hat or pullover facemask. Hoods can keep snow from going down the back. Long scarves can pose a safety hazard.
Dress babies and toddlers in one more layer of clothing than you would feel comfortable in in the same weather. Don’t over bundle.
Sun Block: Snowy and cold weather does not mean your child is protected from the sun. In fact, the reflection off the snow can make the sunburn even worse. Use a good SPF sun protection on exposed skin and lips, and reapply when your snow bunnies go back outside!
Inside the House: Cold weather is not a reason to use blankets, pillows, or other soft bedding with young infants. They present a suffocation risk and should be kept out of an infant’s sleeping environment. Instead, use warmer fitted one-piece sleepers over a layer of lighter pjs or long johns.
Winter First Aid: If your child’s skin on her ears, fingers, toes or face becomes very red or he says it’s stinging or burning, he should get indoors immediately. Warm the skin gently with warm (not hot) compresses, or submerge in warm water. You may hold a hand or foot to warm it but do not rub. Change into fresh clothes.