Frigid temperatures transform the mid-Atlantic landscape into a dazzling
snowy wonderland, creating opportunities for children to enjoy winter
sports as well as spend more time indoors. Yet kids need extra protection
from the cold because their judgment isn't fully developed, and their
small size makes them more likely to lose body heat quickly. Here are
some winter weather safety tips to keep in mind.
1. Keep Infants in a Warm Room
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention warns that infants younger than one year should never sleep in a cold
room, because they are unable to generate enough body heat through shivering.
2. Dress in Layers
Dress your children in several layers. Be sure they wear a neck scarf
and warm gloves along with a cap that covers their ears.
3. Exercise Caution Using Space Heaters
Don't leave your children unattended near a space heater. Since it's
impossible to watch kids 24/7, wait until your young ones get older before
you use these heating devices.
4. Wear Helmets During Sports Activities
Have your children wear helmets when sledding, skiing or playing ice hockey.
Make sure the helmets fit properly, and work with other neighborhood parents
to enforce the "helmets on, or the fun's over" rule.
5. Follow Safety Precautions When Ice-Skating
Never allow your children to skate alone. They should skate only in designated
areas. Be sure to check for cracks and holes in the ice, especially when
the temperature creeps up.
6. Drink Plenty of Fluids
In cold, dry temperatures, children lose more water through their breath.
Keep them hydrated with soup and hot drinks.
7. Watch for Signs of Hypothermia
Be on the alert for symptoms of hypothermia, which include unusual clumsiness,
slurred speech and shivering. This condition is a medical emergency, so
call 9-1-1 if you suspect it.
To learn more about how to protect your child in cold weather, see
Pediatric Group Issues Winter Safety Tips for Kids and Parents.
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