Oh the weather outside is frightful – frightfully cold nationwide.
While we’d all like to relive our childhoods, making snow angels, ice skating, snowboarding, cross-country skiing and so on, PLEASE watch out for the welfare of your kids and grandkids and take proper precautions.
As a parent or grandparent, reducing weather-related health problems should be at top of your list during extremely frigid temperatures.
Across the nation, we are experiencing the coldest winter weather in decades, and while it may be tempting to experience and relive the joy our youth and have fun in the snow, by all means do so, but only if you take proper precautions and DRESS for success in extreme frigid temperatures.
When the skin is exposed to extremely cold temperatures, the body begins to lose heat faster than it can be produced and prolonged exposure to the cold uses up the body’s stored energy, resulting in hypothermia or frostbite -- abnormally low body temperatures. Lowered body temperatures are known to affect the brain, making one unable to think clearly or comprehend sensations and move in appropriate ways. This makes hypothermia extremely dangerous, especially in children, because they may not understand what is happening to them and therefore unable to react or do anything about it.
When temperatures are frigid, don’t go outside if you don’t have to. But kids are kids and keeping them inside on snow days is not always easy. There are snowmen and forts to make, mountains to slide down and all that good fun. After all, WE walked how many MILES to go to school in the snow? Or maybe that was our grandparents. At any rate, that was then and this is NOW. Why risk it?
If you have to let the kids go outside (Look – you’re the adult who makes the decisions--they don’t have to, even if they’re driving you nuts…but…once it’s no longer extremely cold, and you DO let them play outside, be strong, be smart, and dress them appropriately.)
Most importantly, make sure the kids know
The Top 10 Rules of when to come inside
1. If it’s not warm enough for you to go out, don’t let the kids go out. PERIOD.
2. Dress them warmly, in layers, and make sure they stay dry. Let them know that once they feel “wet” inside their boots, on their hands, on their faces or heads – they should come inside. Explain to them why.
3. Hats are a must, because the head is the first place hot air is released. Hats with earmuffs are even better.
4. Mittens are better than gloves, as they are said to keep hands warmer longer.
5. Wrapping a scarf around their faces as well as their necks is important.
6. Make sure they know to avoid walking on ice or getting wet.
7. At the first sign of any “tingling” sensation, anywhere on their body, they should know to go inside immediately.
8. Never try to warm hands up with hot or cold water – medium temperatures are best. (If the water’s too hot and your hands are too cold, you may be at risk of scalding yourself.)
9. Remove all wet clothing and dress in warm clothes, even using blankets to warm up.
10. No one was ever hurt by a nice, warm cup of “hot” cocoa and a warm hug!
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