Winter is approaching; remember Child winter health safety

authordebStarred Page By authordeb, 7th Nov 2016 | Follow this author | RSS Feed
Posted in Wikinut>Health>General Health>Children's Health

Winter brings in freezing cold temperatures, numbing cold and falling snow but for kids it’s a winter wonderland of snow for building snowmen, sledding and more. For us it means keeping kids safe this winter season.


Winter means cold temperatures and it also is the time for moms and dads to rush around buying coats, hats and gloves to keep the kids bundled up and warm. For adults winter brings higher heat bills, homes to winterize, cars to prepare and an attitude that spirals downwards. But for kids it means Christmas time with Santa and presents, sledding, building snowmen and trying to catch snowflakes on their tongues.

Winter Clothing

In one word “layering”, several layers of clothing to keep kids warm and dry. Several layers of clothing work better than a snowsuit. Hats are must since most of our body heat is lost through our head. Mittens or gloves keep the fingers warm. Earmuffs to keep ears warm too. Ditch the scarf and use a neck warmer instead. Scarfs can get caught in playground equipment. When layering remember children should wear one more layer than an adult. Children should also wear waterproof boots large enough to wear two pairs of socks.

Snow suits and car seats don’t Mix

According to Dr. Amanda Web, St. Luke Pediatric Associates if your child is small enough for a car seat you need to dress them for car. “If children wear snow suits in the car, they can get overheated,” said Dr. Webb. “"For infants, you can carry them in a front carrier and cover them with a blanket, and your body heat can keep them warm until you get inside. Many parents aren't aware that snow suits can put your child at risk in their car seat. Snow suits should not be used in car seats, because they won't allow the buckles to cinch tightly enough.”

Time to Come In

Make sure to tell your kids if they start shivering its take to come inside, have some hot chocolate and warm them up. Hot chocolate especially marshmallows is a sure fire way to get them inside.

Chill Factor

If the wind chills is 32 degrees and over it is safe for kids outdoors. If the temperature is 13 to 31 degrees, every 20 to 30 minutes children should take a break and come indoors. If the wind chill is 13 and below children should stay indoors.

Keep Active

It may cold and snowy but children should still get physical activity. The physical activity guidelines according to the US Department of Health and Human Services recommend children ages six to seventeen years old need one hour or more of physical activity a day. To get physical activity in wintry months kids can build a snowman, play soccer in the snow, ice skate or learn to skate, if their older play hockey or go sledding.


Hypothermia is when your boy loses heat faster than it can produce. Normal body temperature is around 98.6 F. Hypothermia occurs when body temperature drops 95 F. When playing outside hypothermia can easily occur in children.

Hypothermia Warning Signs Include:
Body shivers
Fingers and toes feel numb
Exposed skin may look puffy and blue
Lack of coordination
Muscle aches
Difficulty walking
Mental confusion
Slower breathing and heart rate
Irregular or erratic heart beat

If you believe your child has hypothermia call 911. Remove wet clothing and warp warm blankets around them especially neck and chest area. Give them a warm drink if they can swallow. Cover you and your child with a blanket to share body heat.


Frostbite occurs when the skin and outer tissues become frozen. Frostbite is most common on the fingers, toes, ears, cheeks and chin. Because frostbite causes skin numbness kids may not realize they have it but a parent will be able to point it out.

Symptoms include cold skin and a prickling feeling. Skin is red, white, bluish-white or grayish-white skin. Skin may be hard or look waxy. Children and adults can become clumsy because of joint and muscle stiffness. And in severe cases blistering will occur after person is warm.

If child has frostbite place the frostbitten in warm water 104 F is recommended. Warm washcloths can be applied ears, nose and fingertips if frostbitten. Never rub the area that is frostbitten. After a couple of minutes cover child with warm blankets and give them something warm to drink. If frostbitten area is still numb call your physician immediately.


Sunscreen is not only for summer time. In the winter sunburn can still occur especially with sun glare off the snow. Make sure any exposed skin on your child has sun screen and sun glasses are also a good idea.

Other hints

Enforce the buddy system with one or more of your child’s friends. This way they can keep an eye out for each other. Children who are younger than eight years old need supervision outside.

Tell children not to put tongue on cold metal. Sounds silly but it does happen
Tell children not to go near snowplows and snow blowers.

Make sure children play in area where there is shelter such as someone’s house.
Tell children to stay away from roads, fences and bodies of water.

Remove all drawstrings from children’s clothing to prevent strangulation. Use Velcro or other fasteners instead, and use a neck warmer instead of a scarf.


How cold is too cold for kids to play outside – A Healthier Michigan
CDC Physical Activity Guidelines
50 essential winter activities - Today's Parent
Winter Safety for Kids - St. Luke’s
Hypothermia in Children-Boys Town Pediatrics
Mayo Clinic-Frostbite
American Academy of Pediatrics –Winter Safety Tips
Winter safety tips for parents and children. (2002). Paediatrics & Child Health, 7(1), 33–34.


Children, Clothing, Injury, Outdoor, Outdoor Activities, Saftey, Weather Conditions, Winter

Meet the author

author avatar authordeb
Author of the Love and Laughter series
Alternative Medicine Practitioner
Freelance Health Write
Works with Media companies for interviews and articles such as Howie Mandel for Afib,

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