You’ve taken care of the plants, the water pipes, and every pet you own so none would be affected by this mysterious Polar Vortex! And even though keeping your child under a huge amount of blankets could be the best way to keep their tiny bodies warm, they can’t stay under those blankets for the whole day. So before getting them out the door and on their way, mom and blogger Jeanne Sager has put together some tips to keep those kiddos cozy in the midst of craziness:
What Kids Should Wear
Here’s what the Center for Disease Control suggests for your kids:
- a hat
- a scarf or knit mask to cover face and mouth
- sleeves that are snug at the wrist
- mittens (they are warmer than gloves)
- water-resistant coat and shoes
- several layers of loose-fitting clothing
Opt for fabrics that are light enough for kids to move around but will hold in the heat.
Warning Signs Your Kid Is Too Cold
Sometimes kids seem like they’re resistant too cold, but even when they say they’re just fine, there are some tell-tale signs that it’s time to get inside:
Shivering — This is a dead giveaway that the body is losing heat.
Redness/numbness of exposed skin — This is the number one sign of frostnip, which is a milder form of frostbite. Kids should get inside immediately and slowly be warmed up. Cold hands and feet can be put in warm (but not hot!) water.
Dizziness or weakness — Both signs that hypothermia might be setting in, it’s time to get the kids indoors! If they experience confusion, slurred speech, or drowsiness, this may be a sign of hypothermia and is definitely worth a call to the doctor.
Struggling to catch their breath — Cold air doesn’t just affect the extremities, it can affect the lungs too.
If the skin is gray or waxy or feels hard to the touch, this may be a sign of frostbite. In that case, call your doctor!
When to Keep Kids Inside
When everyone has cabin fever, it’s tempting to send the kids out to play, but sometimes it’s just too cold to be outside for more than a few minutes. Check the National Weather Service to see if there’s a wind child advisory in your area. This will tell you how long you can spend outside before frostbite will likely set in.
Other Tips to Keep Kids Safe
Stay hydrated — We tend to give our kids water in the summer to make up for what they sweat out when they play, but all those winter layers will make the work up a sweat too! Make sure they’re getting plenty of fluids to make up for it.
Keep their clothes dry — If they’re playing in the snow, mittens and other garments can get soaked pretty quickly. But moisture will steal heat from the body. According to the CDC, hypothermia can set in when it’s as warm as 40 degrees Fahrenheit if a person is chilled because of wetness.
Use sunscreen — You may not feel it, but snow reflecting light can give your kids a nasty sunburn. In fact, they’re being exposed to twice the sun because they have the sun beating down on them, plus what’s being reflected off the white ground.