Winter means having to go through a series of chilly days. But the cold weather doesn’t have to stop you from enjoying the outdoors. While everyone heads out for fun, it’s important to know how to keep your family warm and safe.
Tip #1: Learn to Love Layers
Dressing in layers is the best way to stay warm in cold, cold weather. Layers help keep you bundled up when it’s cold and is easy to remove when it starts warming up. Depending on how long you’ll be outside and how cold it is, some kids may need more layers than others. When in doubt, start with more!
For your top half, start by putting on a long-sleeved shirt undershirt. Then put on a turtleneck or sweater, and finally a winter coat. If you can, look for clothes made out of fabrics other than cotton, as cotton won’t keep you very warm. Fabrics that are waterproof are a bonus!
For the bottom half, start with a pair of long underwear, then a pair of heavy pants. Try to avoid jeans because like cotton, they won’t keep you very warm. Next, throw on a pair of waterproof pants. These are best because if you fall down and get wet your legs won’t get cold!
Finish the look up with heavy socks and waterproof boots to ensure fun will be had all day long!
Tip #2: Grab Your Gloves and Hat
You’re all bundled up but still feel cold? That’s because you’re missing your hat and gloves! Tons of body heat escapes from your head, which is why a hat and scarf are essentials for cold days. If you’re not a fan of hats, earmuffs and face masks are great alternatives that will help you stay warm and comfortable all day.
Don’t forget mittens or gloves! Your fingers are very sensitive to the cold so it is very important to keep your hands warm and dry. And if more snow falls this winter, waterproof gloves are the only way to go.
Tip #3: Hydrate!
You may be thinking, “I won’t be sweating so why do I need to drink water?” Well, staying hydrated is important for hot and cold weather! When you’re outside playing in cold weather, you lose a lot of water through your breath. The best way to re-hydrate is to drink up! This doesn’t mean you have to drink ice water. Warm drinks and soups will keep you hydrated and warm throughout the day, but remember that coffee and tea won’t help.
Tip #4: Take a Break
While you’re outside having fun it can be easy to forget about how your body is feeling. If your body temperature drops even 4 or 5 degrees while you’re outside, your body can really be affected.
Be alert and recognize when your body is giving you signals. If you start to shiver, head inside for a little while to warm up. If you feel dizzy or out of breath, take a break, go inside, eat some lunch, and refuel your body so you can keep the fun going!
Tip #5: Fight Frostbite
Believe it or not, if you’re outside on a very cold day and not wearing enough clothing, you are at risk of getting frostbite. Frostbite happens when the body’s tissues freeze. This usually happens to skin that is exposed or to small parts like your toes and fingers.
If you’re ever outside and can’t feel your fingers, toes or ears, it may be a sign of frostbite. Frostbite can make parts of your body hurt or tender to the touch. It can also make the skin look glossy or pale.
If you ever think you have frostbite, NEVER stick the frostbitten part in hot water. Warm water is OK but be sure to have someone else test the water temperature first!
Keeping safe in snow, ice or bitter cold is easy to do once you know how. We want you to enjoy yourself even on cold days so follow these tips for safety and enjoy! Layer up, put on your gloves and hat, take breaks, hydrate, and be aware of your body’s signals.