When the temperature drops, there are some important things you can do to help your child stay warm, safe, and healthy. Here are some tips to protect your child during the colder weather.
Dress your child warmly for outdoor activities.
Use several thin layers to help keep your child dry and warm. Don’t forget about boots, gloves, and a hat. Keep in mind that scarves and hood strings can be choking hazards.
Set time limits on outdoor play to prevent hypothermia and frostbite.
- Hypothermia occurs when a child’s temperature falls below normal due to exposure to colder temperatures. It can happen when a child is playing outdoors in extremely cold weather without wearing proper clothing or when clothes get wet.
- Frostbite happens when a child’s skin and outer tissues become frozen. It often happens on the fingers, toes, ears, and nose. These areas may become pale, gray, and blistered, and your child may complain that his skin burns or is numb.
Use a helmet for activities such as ice skating, skiing, sledding, or snowboarding.
Helmets prevent or reduce the effects of head injuries suffered by children who fall while doing these activities. Any sports equipment for activities such as hockey should be professionally fitted.
Keep your child hydrated.
In drier winter air, your child can lose more water through his or her breath. Consider giving your child warm drinks and soup to help stay hydrated.
Stay clean, stay safe
Taking a bath is something your child does every day—and that’s why it’s important to make sure every bath is a safe bath. This helps prevent drowning or injuries such as falls or burns.
Because accidents can happen in a matter of seconds, you should stay with a young child when he or she is taking a bath. While doing so, avoid distractions like using your phone for talking, texting, social media, or games.
To prevent burns, always test the water before putting your child in the tub. Wait until you’ve finished running the water to test it, as the water temperature can change rapidly while the faucet is going.
Think about the tub and its surroundings; things like slip-resistant mats can help prevent falls. Also, make sure there are no sharp edges nearby or on toys your child may use in the tub.
At East Tennessee Children’s Hospital, we are leading the way to healthy children through exceptional, comprehensive family-centered care, wellness and education. We are located at 2018 W Clinch Ave Knoxville, Tennessee. For more information go to www.etch.com.
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