8 Winter Safety Tips for Kids

January 15, 2021

Cute teenage girl in red winter parka against white background; blog: Winter Safety Tips for Kids

During the winter months, there are many things to consider to make sure your child is safe and healthy. Along with protecting them from illnesses like the cold and flu, you should take precautions to protect them against low temperatures. These winter safety tips for kids will help you make sure your family makes it through the cold weather unscathed.

1. Layer Up

Keeping your child warm is probably at the top of the list of winter safety tips for kids. You want to have them bundled up and covered when exposed to cold temperatures outside, but you also need to think about their comfort inside where they may overheat in heavy coats and sweaters. Dressing them in layers they can remove and replace is the best way to approach a winter wardrobe. A good rule of thumb suggested by the American Academy of Pediatrics is to dress young children and babies in one more layer than you would wear as an adult in the same conditions.

2. Warm Shoes and Accessories

Don’t forget that your child will need more than sweaters and coats during the winter months. Get them a good quality pair of warm boots as well as gloves, mittens (preferable for young children), hats, and socks. You want to make sure they hold onto as much body heat as possible. Boots should be roomy enough for kids to wiggle their toes. 

3. Avoid Clothing Hazards

If clothing has strings or ties, such as a hooded jacket with a drawstring, it can pose a choking hazard for young children. Remove strings, cords, and ties or find options without them. Scarves can also be hazardous to smaller kids, so look into other options like neck gaiters or warmers.

If conditions outside are wet from snow or ice, make sure to remove wet clothing and shoes immediately. Staying in wet and cold items will increase the risk of hypothermia and frostbite.

4. Don’t Forget the SPF

Sunscreen isn’t just important during the summer when skies are sunny and temperatures are hot. Even when the sun is hidden, kids are exposed to UV rays. If conditions are snowy and the sun does come out, it can reflect off the snow. Use a (THIS SENTENCE STOPPED HERE)

5. Be Safe at Home

While your home acts as a warm and cozy refuge from low temperatures, you need to take precautions there as well. Set up and test carbon monoxide detectors. During cold weather, carbon monoxide may become more of a hazard because heating devices are used more frequently. When these devices malfunction, they will emit dangerous levels of carbon monoxide that can result in permanent injury or even death. According to Safe Kids Worldwide, there were 3,248 cases of carbon monoxide poisoning in children under 19 in 2017.

6. Set Safety Guidelines for Outdoor Play

Go over rules for safely playing outside when it’s cold. Institute a buddy system so that kids don’t go out alone. Make sure they know that the streets are off-limits to playing and sledding even if they are closed to traffic. Have them check in at regular intervals to make sure they don’t show signs of frostbite. Make sure they know not to play in snowbanks or build tunnels that could collapse. 

7. Hydrate

Just like sunscreen, hydration is often overlooked during the winter. But making sure your child gets enough to drink should be on your list of winter safety tips for kids. When the air is dryer, children lose water through their breath and skin, so fluids need to be replenished frequently even when they’re not sweating. Hot drinks and soup are also good for getting them to consume more fluids.

8. Check Warmth Frequently

Now and then, check in with kids to make sure they are warm and dry. Even if you tell them to come inside when they are cold or wet, check for yourself. Feel their faces, hands, neck, and inside their jackets. Children will often want to stay outside and continue playing even if they are wet and cold.

Contact Holly Springs Pediatrics

If you have questions about keeping your child healthy and safe this winter, contact your child’s pediatrician. Holly Springs Pediatrics is committed to providing quality care to your kids at all times. That includes being there in uncertain times. We will always prioritize the health and safety of your family. Call our Holly Springs, NC pediatric office at (919) 249-4700 to schedule an appointment or talk to a staff member.