It's a fun time for kids and a time when parents need to go on the offensive.
Babies, toddlers and young children must be layered up against the cold … even if you’re going outside just to put the baby in the car, or walking one city block … if kids of any age and especially babies are out in the cold it’s layers, layers, layers and mittens!
If you live in the city and are taking your child for a walk in the stroller, make sure babies, toddlers and young kids are wearing mittens.
Cover the stroller with protective see-through plastic covering. That doesn’t mean over-bundling kids so they get hot and sweat, which can chill them.
But by using the right fabrics like a fleece poly blend and layering clothes kids are protected.
Cotton doesn’t keep the heat in and wool can be itchy. Neither dries well.
Weekends and school snow days will find kids on sleds, toboggans and inner tubes. Using a thin fleece hat under your child’s helmet will keep their head warm. Make sure they drink fluids like hot cocoa, soup and tea. Dehydration can cause frostbite.
When you take your kids out to ski, sled, skate, or engage in any other outdoor winter activity, watch for other people who are reckless. Keep an eye uphill and behind you and watch for people who are going too fast or are out of control. Don't assume they can stop to avoid you.
Families with younger children should stick together in the snow. Big spills, getting wet and cold, and getting lost can be serious business.
- Check their toes when you stop for breaks
- Checking them for cold and protecting them from sunburn (with sunscreen, sunglasses, sunshades, etc.) are especially important when you're carrying your kids in a child carrier or pulling them in a sled
Check your kids' fingers and the back of their necks often to make sure they're staying warm
Children over three should carry a plastic whistle and a high-energy snack. Teach them that if they find themselves lost or separated to stay calm, hug a tree, blow the whistle three times, and wait and blow it again.
It is easiest to find them when they stay put. Two toots from an adult's whistle mean they've been heard and help is on the way. For downhill activities, young children should wear harnesses. It’s surprising how fast they can go … and how easily they can get away from you. Batteries in your flashlight or in your headlamp should always be working. When it gets dark you can also attach flashing safety beacons to your kids clothes.
If you're going far bring an emergency space blanket for everyone, including extra food/water and something colorful that can be easily spotted from the air.
In the backcountry, keep your kids nearby and in sight. There are lots of hazards: holes, thin ice, avalanches, large animals, and getting separated or lost.
Insist that your child to wear a helmet when using a snow-mobile, or while skiing or
Prevent snowmobile injuries which are a common cause of injury in children, with some
being fatal. It is recommended that snowmobile use be restricted to children over age 16 who have received proper instruction and are wearing protective equipment, including a helmet goggles and boots.
Keep your child safe while snowmobile riding by limiting their use to marked and
maintained snowmobile trails.