The temperature is down, the thermostat is up. Time for you and your family to be inside. But children (and even some adults!), like nothing more than playing in the snow. To make sure your child safely enjoys the winter season, take the time to make sure that your children are prepared for the cold and snow. Even the most wonderful day in the snow will be ruined by inappropriate clothing or risky play.
Dress warmly! Layering will keep warm air in and cold air out. Start with thermal underwear, add a warm shirt, then a sweatshirt, then a sweater, then a coatK..you can add or remove layers , if necessary. Avoid clothing made of cotton, which gets and stays wet. Cover hands heads and faces with fabric that stays warm and absorbs perspirationXpreferably wool or polypropylene synthetics. Be sure that everyone has two pairs of gloves, just in case one pair is lost or misplaced. Wearing a hat will help to prevent colds, ear infections, and frostbitten ears. Be sure that your child approves of the coat, hat and glovesK.. otherwise, your child may not wear it! u Make sure everyone's boots are waterproof or water-resistant. Choose boots with a warm lining and non-slip treads.
Have your child come indoors for a break once every hour while playing in the cold or snow. Many kids don't notice the cold, so hypothermia--a rapid drop in body temperature--may go unnoticed. Signs may be subtle but include uncontrollable shivering and disorientation. Remind your child to drink fluids regularly and watch for dehydration. Have items on hand for building a snowman--and don't forget the nose!
Know the signs of frostbite and hypothermia. Prolonged exposure to the cold can cause the underlying tissue of the skin to freeze, leading to frostbite. Frostbite targets the face and earlobes and is signaled by white skin, numbness and tingling. If you suspect frostbite or hypothermia, immediately get your child out of the cold ,change them into warm, dry clothes .
When frostbite becomes severe, it's time to call for help. If the skin turns blue or white, hard, and cold, you could be dealing with a third-degree frostbite. In this case, rewarm the skin slowly. You can apply warm water gradually (104 to 108 degrees Fahrenheit) for 15 to 30 minutes, and carefully to prevent permanent tissue damage and infection. Don't rub or massage the frozen area. If there are blisters, don't break them. Keep the part (hands, feet) elevated. You should immediately seek medical attention if the skin becomes infected. The signs of infection usually appear two to three days after the frostbite occurs. Here's what to watch for:
- Redness and heat or red streaks extending from the frostbitten area
- A fever of 100 degrees Fahrenheit or higher
- Pain, tenderness, or swelling in the area
- Purulent discharge from the blistered area
As conscientious as parents are about child safety, kids can still get into trouble. Let your child choose their activity and how often he or she wants to do it. Don't expect too much of a young child, who is not as coordinated as an adult, and shouldn't be expected to perform like one. Limit these activities to no more than one hour at a stretch; cold and fatigue make a child susceptible to injury.
Before you let your child go sledding and skating, stress these safety dos and don'ts:
-Remind children to watch the roads beyond the hills, and to stop at the bottom before they get to the street.
u-Make sure you check the hill for hidden rocks, trees, roots and stumps at the bottom. Make sure the hill is not too steep or too long.
-The SAFEST position for gliding down a hill, is lying on your back, with your head at the top of the sled. Head first= head injuries. Feet first= broken ankles.
- Look for snow packed not icy slopes.
-Select sleds with good steering mechanisms, avoid discs, and inner tubes, which have no steering capability. Steer smoothly, and avoid jerky movements.
-Ice-skate ONLY at a skating rink or a pond that is supervised. Avoid lakes and ponds. Ice can be dangerously thin and you can't always tell by looking.
-Select skates that fit snugly.
-Skate with the flow of traffic, and avoid sudden stops.
Remember: Carelessness, can be DANGEROUS! Please follow these tips to make a day in the snow a day you want to remember!