Cold Weather – Staying Safe and Warm

Cold Weather – Staying Safe and Warm
Posted on 11/25/2014

Children spend a great deal of time outdoors – while traveling to school, during school recess breaks, while waiting for their ride home, and while playing. When children are outside, they may not realize how cold they are. Instead of going indoors to warm up, they stay outside to continue playing. Frostbite can be seen when an area of skin (usually fingers, toes, ears, cheeks, nose, or chin) feels slightly painful, then turns white. Hypothermia means that the body is losing heat— kids may be shivering and lose coordination.

Tips to prevent frostbite and hypothermia
-Check weather forecasts to anticipate clothing needs throughout the day.
-Choose play areas with warm shelters nearby.
-Teach children the signs of frostbite and hypothermia and the importance of dressing warmly.
-Remember that the WINDCHILL FACTOR —wind plus freezing temperatures— means it may be a lot colder than the thermometer says. Skin freezes much more quickly when the wind-chill factor is high.

KIDS - wear the gear
-Dress in layers of clothing. If you get too warm, you can take off one layer at a time.
-Wear a hat. Most of our body heat is lost through our heads.
-To prevent frostbite, keeps ears covered, wear mittens instead of gloves, and wear warm, waterproof boots.

Other winter safety tips for parents and kids
-To prevent clothing related strangulation, wear neck warmers instead of scarves and remove all drawstrings from clothing.
-Vehicles take longer to stop on snow and ice. Before crossing the road, be sure all vehicles have come to a complete stop.
-Stay away from snowplows and snowblowers.
-Ensure children never put their tongues on cold metal.
-Snow forts can be fun, but building tunnels can be dangerous, tunnels may collapse and suffocate a child.


Adapted from "KIDSAFE Connection" Children's Health Foundation of Northern Alberta and Alberta's Children Hospital Foundation.