Winter is a wonderful time of year. In New England, then the snow covered landscape provides for some fantastic and serene images. With the weather, then there are some winter safety precautions that we all must take to properly protect our families.
Part of the fun of living in Connecticut is all of the different outdoor activities. Nobody loves playing in the snow more than kids, so here are some winter safety solutions to keep our loved ones happy and healthy.
1. Winter Dress Code
In the winter it is important to dress in layers because it helps separate the wet weather from skin. The basic layers include thermals, regular play clothes, snow pants, and a coat.
Feet are important to keep dry so kids stay warm. Try merino wool socks matched with warm boots. Since kids grow so fast, it’s possible to find high quality outer wear from consignment shops.
2. Car Seat Safety
A scary thought for parents are car seats not working in the event of a crash. Wearing extra layers, like puffy coats or snowsuits, prevents the car seat straps from tightening against your child’s body.
3. Watch Play Time Outside
Kids love playing in the snow. There is pure joy and excitement on their faces while they play outside, but there are also some dangers.
During extremely cold temperatures, then be on the lookout for signs of hypothermia. Hypothermia develops when a child’s temperature falls below normal due to exposure to colder temperatures. Signs include:
- Excessive shivering.
- Lethargic and/or clumsy behavior.
- Slurred speech.
- Declining body temperature.
If you suspect your child is hypothermic, call 911 immediately. While you wait for help, then stay inside, remove wet clothes and wrap your child in blankets.
Sledding is one of the all-time favorite winter pastimes. The great part about sledding is that it is fun for all ages, including parents!
Although generally a safe winter activity, there are a few ways to remain extra safe!
- Accompany kids under 5 years of age down a hill.
- Wear a ski or hockey helmet – not a bicycle helmet – while sledding.
- Avoid sleds with sharp or jagged edges.
- Never sled on or near roadways.
- Sled during the day or a well lit hill if you sled at night.
- Remember to watch for others and move out of the way at the bottom of the hill.
5. Watch Out for Winter Sports
In addition to sledding, winter sports, such as skiing and snowboarding are very popular winter activities. To help with winter safety, then there are some general guidelines like wearing helmets and the proper safety gear, along with staying hydrated while on the slopes.
6. Take a Break
Winter fun is always around the corner for kids looking to get outside. For parents, there is some concern about the proper clothing and overall temperature. A nice compromise is ensuring break time so kids can warm up.
Also keep in mind the wind. The wind chill factor makes it feel much colder than the actual temperature, so here is a quick chart.
- Green Zone: 30°F and higher – play comfortably with layered clothes, hats and mittens. Make sure kids are well hydrated.
- Yellow Zone: 20°F – 30°F – let kids outside with the standard layers, but take breaks every 20-30 minutes. Watch out for early signs of hypothermia like excessive shivering.
- Red Zone: Below 20°F – best to stay inside.
7. Indoor Dress
It might be tempting to keep young children or babies all bundled up during the winter while you are inside, but be careful.Ideally, thermostats should be set between 68° and 72°F.
Experts recommend following the “one-more-layer” rule, whereby if you’re comfortable in two layers, then your baby needs three.
8. Beware of Choking Hazards
The typical winter layers like scarves and strings to hooded sweatshirts can cause choking hazards for young children. It is important to keep kids warm, but just be mindful of certain clothing items.
9. Common Cold Survival Kit
One of the common health concerns with winter is the common cold. Although there are a few myths about the common cold, there are some simple solutions to avoid the dreaded winter cold.
However, as we all know, life happens! To help be prepared for the inevitable, then create and maintain a cold survival kit, and include:
- soft tissues.
- hand sanitizer.
- kid-friendly thermometer.
- fever reducers like children’s acetaminophen.
- throat lozenges or local honey.
- lip balm.
Winter is a wonderful time of the year. In New England, we are treated to some beautiful scenery as the snow falls and covers the local landscape. There are a few downsides, such as the cold temperatures that impact our comfort. It is important to keep our homes safe, while trying to balance the demands of rising energy costs. In particular, homeowners with small children must take extra precautions to keep kids safe during winter. For any home heating questions, then SolvIt is here to help.