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Tips to Protect your Children from the Cold Weather

Florida's weather has been chillier and windier, and in northern states, the weather is much colder. Many of us may travel to visit family in northern states where the weather is at lower temperatures; it is vital to look out for the well-being of our children and keep them safe and warm. Aware of the importance of maintaining your child protected from the cold weather, we want to share some tips from the American Academy of Pediatrics.


What to wear when it's cold

  • Dress infants and children warmly for outdoor activities. Several thin layers will keep them dry and warm. Always remember warm boots, gloves or mittens, and a hat.

  • The rule of thumb for older babies and young children is to dress them in one more layer of clothing than an adult would wear in the same conditions.

  • When riding in the car, babies and children should wear thin, snug layers rather than thick, bulky coats or snowsuits.

  • Blankets, quilts, pillows, bumpers, sheepskins, and other loose bedding should be kept out of an infant's sleeping environment because they are associated with suffocation deaths. It is better to use sleep clothing like one-piece sleepers or wearable blankets.

What to watch out for

Hypothermia

  • Hypothermia develops when a child's temperature falls below normal due to exposure to colder temperatures. It often happens when a child is playing outdoors in extremely cold weather without wearing proper clothing or when clothes get wet. It can occur more quickly in children than in adults.

  • As hypothermia sets in, the child may shiver and become lethargic and clumsy. Speech may become slurred, and body temperature will decline in more severe cases.

  • If you suspect your child is hypothermic, call 911 at once. Until help arrives, take the child indoors, remove any wet clothing, and wrap him in blankets or warm clothes.


Frostbite

  • Frostbite happens when the skin and outer tissues become frozen. This condition tends to happen on extremities like the fingers, toes, ears, and nose. They may become pale, gray, and blistered. At the same time, the child may complain that their skin burns or have become numb.

  • If frostbite occurs, bring the child indoors and place the frostbitten parts of her body in warm (not hot) water. 104° Fahrenheit (about the temperature of most hot tubs) is recommended. Warm washcloths may be applied to frostbitten noses, ears, and lips.

  • Do not rub the frozen areas.

  • After a few minutes, dry and cover the child with clothing or blankets. Give your child something warm to drink.

  • If the numbness continues for more than a few minutes, call your child's pediatrician.


Children are more vulnerable and susceptible to the cold than adults because their bodies are smaller, and as a consequence, they lose heat more quickly. If they are having fun playing outdoors, they may be less likely to come inside when they are too cold, so we need to be vigilant about their exposure. We must set limits on the time they spend playing outside and make sure they take breaks inside and have time to regulate their body temperature. If you want more information about how to maintain your children safe in cold weather, you can visit https://www.healthychildren.org.


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