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Children and winter activities: When is it too cold

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The thermometer is finally showing temperatures more in line with winter weather, just in time for Christmas. Many boys and girls will be getting some pretty fun items for outdoor play this year, but is it too cold for them to go out?

As long as children are properly dressed and they don't get wet, they should be fine outdoors. Just make sure to they dress in extra layers. Have them start with snug-fitting T-shirts or thermal underwear. Next comes a shirt or blouse, then a sweater. Wool socks are best for keeping the feet warm and dry. If there are any leg warmers held over from years past, add those too.

Kids should wear hats that cover their ears and gloves that allow them to move their fingers well. A scarf around the neck can be used to cover the nose if it should get cold enough to hurt a little. Finally, a coat or heavy jacket should be worn.

Make sure the kids know they can come inside to get warm if they need to and to always come in and change if their clothes should get wet for any reason. The hats and gloves have to stay on to keep them from getting frostbite and to retain heat.

Most children can play safely outside for at least an hour, when properly dressed. Just be sure to keep a close eye on the kids to make sure they are comfortable at play. Heavy winds may limit their time outside due to the wind-chill factor.

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