Whether winter comes with severe storms, light dust, or just cold temperatures, the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) has some valuable advice on how to keep your child warm in winter.
What is your child wearing?
Dress babies and newborns in warm clothes if you will take them outdoors with you. Having several thin layers keeps it dry and warm. Always remember warm shoes as well, gloves and hats.
The rule for older children is to wear one extra layer compared to what adults would wear in the same circumstances.
When riding a car, newborns and infants should wear thin, warm layers rather than thick, bulky coats or snow suits. Refer to the safety instructions available on the Internet regarding using kids car seats.
Blankets, quilts, hard pillows, and other bedding items should be kept out of an infant’s sleeping environment as they may suffocate them. It is best to use one-piece pajamas or thin, wearable blankets. If a blanket must be used to keep the baby warm, the blanket should be thin and tucked under the crib mattress, reaching only the baby’s chest, so that the baby’s face is less likely to be covered.
Hypothermia occurs when a child’s temperature is lower than normal due to exposure to colder temperatures, most often when a child is playing outdoors in very cold weather without proper clothing or when their clothes are wet, and this can happen more quickly in children compared to adults.
When hypothermia begins, the child may shiver and become lethargic, and, in more severe cases, slurred speech when hypothermia occurs.
If you suspect that your child has hypothermia, you can seek medical help, and until help arrives, take the child inside, remove any wet clothing, and wrap him in blankets or warm clothing.
Extreme cold cases
Frost occurs when the skin and outer tissues freeze, and this condition tends to occur in the extremities such as the fingers, toes, ears and nose, and the child may look pale, and he may complain at the same time of numbness in the extremities.
In the event of a severe frost, bring your child inside and put the coldest parts in warm (not hot) water. 104°F is recommended, which is about the temperature of most hot tubs, and warm towels can be applied to the nose, ears, and lips.
After a few minutes, dry the baby, cover him/her with clothes or blankets, and give him something warm to drink. If the numbness lasts more than a few minutes, call your doctor.
Safe winter sports and activities
Set reasonable time limits for outdoor play to prevent hypothermia and frostbite. Ask your child to warm up periodically.