Once upon a time, I was a winter-person. Seriously!
I enjoyed the crunch of the snow under my feet, snowboarding in fresh powder, sledding for hours with my friends.
Then as the years crept on me, somehow my love of our beautiful Canadian winters turned in to a hatred for all things between the months of November – March.
Last year we moved to Quebec, Canada and I experienced -51 C. Hibernation ensued.
But let’s not talk about me. Let’s talk about the kids – those who haven’t figured out the misery of cold yet and are happy to play outside for hours upon end. I’m happy to let them play outside as much as possible, but I also need to ensure they stay warm, healthy and safe.
COLD WEATHER SAFETY TIPS
When the body gets cold, it draws its heat inward to protect vital organs. That leaves the rest of our body susceptible to extreme temperatures. Fingers, toes, ears, cheeks all need to be protected.
Limit Play Time
When temperatures drop dangerously low, you may need to limit their time outside. I recommend staggering playtime. Invite them inside for some hot chocolate (with marshmallows of course) and then let them know they can go back out once they’ve warmed up and their mittens are dry. The younger the child, the less time they should be out there. As mine are getting older, they are getting pretty good about making the decision to come inside for a break themselves.
Sounds a bit strange but we can still experience the harmful effects of the sun during the winter. The sun reflecting off the white snow, back at your child’s face can lead to sunburn and other issues that you’d normally only think happen in summer.
Pay Attention to their Cheeks
If they are slightly flushed from playing and exerting themselves, or lightly tinged by the cold, that’s ok. If they start to get Rudolf-red, they need to come inside.
Check on them
Ok this one seems obvious but it needs to be said. When playing in the snow, always make sure you know what your kids are doing. You don’t have to stand there watching them the entire time, especially if they are playing with a sibling or friend, but quickly checking in to make sure they are safe is not a bad thing.
Make sure your kids know to watch out for hazards. Reminding them to move out of the path of others at the bottom of the sledding hill. To be careful for ice patches hidden under loose snow. Also to keep an eye out for hazards from above such as snow or ice on rooftops that might fall at any time. This is especially important on nicer days, when the snow is melting.
Did I miss any tips?