Keep your kids warm and safe this winter

| February 8, 2016

COSHOCTON – Here are some helpful tips to keep your kids safe while playing in the snow just in case Mother Nature decides to give us a good dose of it before spring comes.

“Make sure they are dressed appropriately and put them in layers,” said Lynne Garrett, CNP at Family Physicians. “If you are comfortable as an adult add one more layer to them. They can always take it off.”

Areas of their body to keep a close eye on include their ears, nose, finger and toes.

“You want to make sure they have water resistant boots and gloves,” Garrett said. “If you are outside and get worried pull their gloves off and take a look at their fingers. If they are red they are just cold, but if they are pale that’s not good. Get them inside and warm their hands up. Don’t rub them though. Put their hands in lukewarm, but not hot water. Rosy cheeks also are another sign that they are just cold, but if the tip of their nose is pale that is not good.”

You also need to protect your children from sun and wind burn during the winter.

“Skin is sensitive in the winter so use a thick cream or moisturizer before they go out,” Garrett said. “Vaseline also is cheap and can be put on their hands and face. On sunny days use sunscreen too.”

Another place Vaseline can be used is on lips.

“Children tend to lick their lips which makes dried lips even worse,” Garrett said. “You can use ChapStick, but a lot of them taste good so kids tend to lick their lips even more, but Vaseline doesn’t taste so good.”

Once they get back inside you will want to get any wet clothes off and get them into some warm ones.

“You can put them in a bath, but again you don’t want it hot,” Garrett said.

It’s also important to make sure your children drink plenty of fluids in the winter because the air is so dry. Another helpful tip is to send an extra pair of socks to school with your kids in case they get their shoes wet while playing around in the snow at the bus stop.

For little ones in car seats this winter, Garrett suggest that parents do the best they can with not putting them in their seat while still wearing a coat.

“Coats keep us warm, but the bulky ones make the straps (on car seats) not fit snuggly,” she said. “The American Academy of Pediatrics does say not to wear bulky coats in car seats because they can cause children to slip out of them. Use layers and try not to wear big bulky coats and snowsuits in cars.”

When it comes to playing in the snow there really is no golden rule to how long your kids should be out, but Garrett recommends if temperatures are in the 20s and 30s you should check on them at least every 15 to 20 minutes.

“Sometimes all they need is to run around and play for a little bit and then they will come back in,” she said. “A lot of keeping them safe is just using common sense, but usually if you are cold they are cold.”

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About the Author ()

I started my journalism career in 2002 with a daily newspaper chain. After various stops with them, I am happy to be back home! I graduated from Coshocton High School in 1998 and received a Bachelor of Arts in Communication in 2002 from Walsh University. I also earned several awards while working for daily papers, including being honored by Coshocton County’s veterans for the stories I wrote about them. I am honored and ready to once again shine a positive light on Coshocton County. I also am the proud mother of a little girl named Sophia!

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