The temperature dips below zero, roads, sidewalks and other surface start to freeze and snow begins to fall. All are signs that winter has arrived. And for kids that means one of their favourite seasons to get outside and enjoy the world around them – a world transformed by cold and snow.
But before they rocket out the door to jump into a snow bank or zip down a hill on sled, parents should be aware of possible risks to their loved ones. With these easy tips, the risks of winter on kids can be marginalized, leaving kids to enjoy the fun side.
Bundle them up – but not too tight
Children’s winter clothes should be snug, but not constricting. The rule of thumb here is that winter wear shouldn’t limit a child’s range of motion. This not-too-tight rule also matters for footwear, as shoes that are laced too much can restrict bloodflow.
Pick the best clothing materials
One time-tested piece of advice here is that children (and adults, too) should be wearing layers of clothing, as this is one of the best ways to keep warmth in and cold air away from the body. And, for kids, remember that the materials their winter clothing is made from matters too. For example, try to dress them in wool clothing instead of cotton, as wool is more durable and flexible and well help them stay dryer and warmer.
Keep an eye on kids when they’re doing outdoor activities
Don’t let your child skate or toboggan where you’re not able to see them. If they are going to sled or skate, make sure the sledding path isn’t too crowded or close to a road, and that the skating rink isn’t too packed with other people.
Pick the right snacks
Even more so than other seasons, kids in the winter need snacks that are packed with healthy nutrients. Some good go-tos here are fruit (both dried and fresh), fresh cut vegetables, yogurt and whole-wheat cracks with a few slices of cheese.
What kids drink during winter is important, too. While they won’t be sweating as much as summer, keeping children hydrated is still important in the coldest season. Consider fuelling the young winter adventurers with low-sugar juices, as well as decaf tea and hot cocoa (which is not only a classic winter drink, but also a source of immune-strengthening antioxidants).
For even more winter safety tips for kids, check out Reader’s Digest.