Tips for Winter – How to Stay Safe in Snow and Ice

For some people winter is just a hiatus from regular life and warmer weather – a time to stay indoors and wait for the arrival of spring and sunshine. But if you have kids, you know it’s difficult to keep them cooped up inside the house, particularly when schools are closed. Besides, there are so many exciting things you can do outdoors even when it’s freezing – skiing, sledding, snowboarding, building snowmen, snowball fights, and more. Not to forget that someone will eventually have to help shovel the snow off the driveway! But accidents can all too easily occur when kids play outside in winter. Read on for some helpful tips to keep your family safe and comfortable even when the puddles begin to freeze over outdoors. After all, you’ll want to take any preventative measures when avoiding those all too common winter accidents!

How to Stay Safe in Snow and Ice
"Bristol MT Kids Class" by Visit Finger Lakes is licensed under CC BY 2.0

How to Stay Safe in Snow and Ice
  1. Dress right

    Battling the elements is much easier when you’re dressed in the appropriate winter clothing. The best way to ward off colds (and worse) is to dress up the kids (and yourself) in layers. This keeps you toasty when you step out of the house, plus you can always shed those layers once it gets uncomfortably warm. The number of layers you will need will ultimately depend on your location and how cold it gets; but it’s wise to take these measures even when the kids are not showing much sensitivity to the cold. Make sure your little ones are wearing a long-sleeved thermal undershirt with a turtleneck over it, followed by a shirt, a sweater and a coat. For the bottom half, have them wear long thermal underwear with a pair of heavy (preferably waterproof) pants over it. Heavy woolen socks and waterproof shoes with good treads are also a must if they are going to be playing in the snow.

  2. Drink plenty of fluids

    You always make sure your kids remain hydrated during summer, don’t you? Well, the same bit of advice holds true for winter too. When your little one’s playing outside, they are breathing hard and using up a lot of their body’s water content. All that water needs to be replenished and a hot drink goes a long way towards getting it back. A bowl of hot chicken soup or a cup of hot cocoa provides nourishment, warmth and hydration; plus it also gives hyperactive youngsters a chance to settle down after adventures in the snow. Any seasoned winter warrior would tell you that warm drinks on a cold day have a special way of spreading warmth like nothing else!

  3. Dealing with frostbite

    Spending too much time outdoors in winter puts your child at risk of developing frostnip and frostbite. The best way to prevent this is to ensure they are warmly dressed and stay indoors in extreme weather cases. One of the warning signs of impending frostbite is frostnip – a condition that leaves your skin numb and red. Bring your child indoors immediately, peel off wet clothes and immerse the frost nipped body parts in water that’s warm but not hot until normal blood circulation returns. If you are not already familiar with these conditions, Frostbite turns the skin yellowish gray or white and usually afflicts the nose, ears, fingers, toes and cheeks. Make a beeline for the emergency room if your child has experienced any of these symptoms while out in the snow.

Winter can be highly enjoyable for a child that understands the importance of being cautious and does not try to test their limits in extreme weather conditions.

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