Winter is an exciting time for children. School-age children will often have multi-week breaks from school during the winter, leading to some added stress for parents across the country. As kids run around in the winter wonderland outside, we’ve put together some tips for parents to help you make sure your children are playing in a safe and healthy way.
Taking added precautions to keep kids safe during winter
In general, regardless of where you live, here are some tips to ensure your children are able to enjoy their winter breaks safely.
- Take frequent breaks. Have your children come in regularly to re-hydrate and warm up. In their excitement, children may not realize how cold or tired they really are.
- Dress your child in layers. Make sure your kids are safe and warm by ensuring they are wearing several different layers, helping keeping wet clothes away from your child’s body.
- Do not let children play outside alone our unsupervised. Especially if your children are younger than 8 years old, it’s important that they are well-supervised at all times outside. From frostbite to low visibility conditions for drivers, there are many dangers that become more common in the winter months that parents need to look out for.
- Snowstorms are pretty, but not a time to be outside. While it can be nice and cozy to watch a snowstorm from inside your home, many children will want to go outside and play. Tell your children that they can wait until the snowstorm is over so that you can better supervise them and make sure they’re having fun in a safe way.
- Find a safe place for children to play. Help your kids select the perfect place to build that snowman, one that keeps them safe and away from potential dangers and that allows you or another parent to easily supervise. For example, keep your children away from things like roads or water areas.
- Don’t forget the sunscreen! Children can still get sunburnt in the winter when the sun reflects on the snow. If your kids are going to be outside, make sure to apply sunscreen first (even if it is cloudy!)
But it’s not just the outdoors that need some extra attention during the winter. Parents should ensure that their home and car are as winterized as possible in order to keep all members of your family safe. The Centers for Disease Control suggest that all parents:
- Winterize your home and check-up on your heating systems. You can use simple household supplies like cat litter to help de-ice danger spots outdoors, keeping kids (and you!) safe.
- Prepare your car for winter conditions. Critically, ensure that there is a winter emergency kit in the car that includes extra hats and gloves, just in case you become stranded with your children while out and about.
- Stock up in advance. Like with the car, you’ll want to make sure you have plenty of batteries, blankets, and other emergency equipment in case a storm knocks out your power.