Snow and Ice and Everything Nice

Winter is a time to get out and enjoy family-friendly activities such as sledding, ice skating and building snowmen.  As a parent, you want to do everything in your power to keep your kids healthy and happy this season.  The winter wonderland, however, poses serious health and safety risks for children.  Because the winter months bring frigid temperatures and a higher risk for illness, you may have to work a little harder to protect your children this season.

Here are some tips for keeping your child safe this winter. 

Dress wisely

In winter, layers are crucial.  Children have a much lower tolerance to cold weather than adults.  Dress your child in one more layer than you would put on yourself.

Ensure that their hats always cover children’s ears and that they wear warm mittens or gloves.  If clothing becomes wet or sweaty, take them inside and give them dry clothes immediately. Ensure your child’s clothing does not have drawstrings or any other hanging items that can be caught while playing.  Scarves can also pose a choking hazard in young children.

Watch for frostbite and hypothermia

It’s not only falls or accidents that pose the most danger to young children.  Frostbite is also a regular occurrence.  This happens when prolonged exposure to cold damages the skin.   Frostbite can set in just under 30 minutes depending on specific conditions.  According to Kidshealth.org, “Frostbite occurs mostly on fingers, toes, ears, noses, and cheeks. The area becomes very cold and turns white or yellowish gray.”

Hypothermia is also a possibility. It occurs when the cold outside causes the body’s internal temperature to drop below 95 degrees Fahrenheit.  There is no set timeframe for the onset of hypothermia, but colder weather expedites the process.  Symptoms include: confusion, nausea, dizziness, fatigue, difficulty breathing and lack of coordination.  Be sure to watch for these symptoms and seek medical attention right away if you suspect that your child has hypothermia. 

These are both emergency situations, and your child should be taken to the nearest emergency room right away.

Limit outdoor time

Outdoor play in the winter is fun, but children should not stay outside for long periods of time.  To reduce the risk of frostbite, make sure that kids take frequent breaks to come inside and warm up.  Always bring them inside if they get wet.  

In temperatures of 13-31 degrees, indoor breaks should happen every 20-30 minutes.  For windchills of 13 degrees and below, outdoor play should be avoided altogether.

Apply sunscreen

In the winter, the last thing you are probably thinking about is a sunburn.  However, because of the reflective nature of snow, up to 85% of the sun’s harmful UV rays will still affect your child. Be sure to apply sunscreen to exposed areas of your child’s skin 15-30 minutes before they go outside.

We hope that you and your family enjoy a season full of fun and adventures.  However careful you and you children are this winter, accidents do happen.  In the event that you or your child suffers an injury, please contact Hupy and Abraham, S.C. for a free, confidential, no-obligation consultation at 800-800-5678 or start a live chat 24/7 at Hupy.com. 

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