How to keep kids warm and safe while enjoying the winter season

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Preventing frostbite

Young child wearing colorful clothes laughing in the snow
  • Prevent frostbite by checking the wind chill, wear several thin layers and wear insulated boots, mittens, and hats. Make sure kids have a safe indoor place to go to take breaks and warm up periodically. 
  • If you suspect frostbite, bring your child indoors to gently warm up. Don’t rub the affected area, and don’t pop any blisters.
  • Avoid placing anything hot directly on the skin. Soak frostbitten areas of the body in warm (not hot) water for 20 to 30 minutes. Warm washcloths can be applied to frostbitten noses, ears and lips.
  • After a few minutes, dry and cover your child with blankets. Give them something warm to drink.
  • If the pain or numbness continues for more than a few minutes, call your pediatrician. 

Staying safe during winter sports

  • Check for signs posted by local police or recreation departments, or call your local police department to find out which areas have been approved.
  • Always supervise children while playing and keep them away from motor vehicles.
  • Sleds, skis, or other outdoor recreation equipment should be reviewed for safety and to ensure no missing parts or jagged edges.

Enjoying the holidays

  • Gifts: Getting gifts is obviously a fun part of the holiday season, but it is not the only focus. Encourage kids to get in the spirit of the holiday by making something for a friend or a family member, or have them help you pick out something when you go shopping. Remind your kids, however, that the best gift is quality time as a family. Encourage this through playing a game together, making something together, decorating cookies, or watching a movie.
  • Let your kids help out: With the extra work to do around the holiday season comes lots of opportunities for kids to be involved and help out. Children can help set the table, decorate the house, and wrap presents. 
  • Keep routines: We love the holidays because they give us a break from the everyday, but that can also make them stressful, especially for kids who find routine comforting. Try to keep some things constant. Kids still need snack time, they still need special attention from you, and they still need a chance to unwind before bedtime.
  • Remember they are kids: Customize festivities for your kids’ frustration level. Don’t schedule more than one demanding event in a day, and make sure to include physical activity and plenty of downtime. Your kids will be grateful — and so will you.