HEALTHY LIVING  |1.22.18  |  by Julie Rhodins

Photo Courtesy: Akron Children’s Hospital YouTube Channel

Making a snowman or snow sledding!  These are the fun times that childhood is made of.  But, you want to stay warm and safe.  Here are some easy winter safety tips for kids that take all of a few steps to make the enjoyment last.  After all, we want to see those smiles!!

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Dress Kids In Layers

Akron Children’s Hospital has advice for all parents during the cold winter months, and that is to dress your children in layers.  It’s fun to play outdoors and super healthy for the exercise and sunshine.  But, the tip is that if you’re comfortable in the layers you have on (as an adult), add another layer for the children.  This is because, says the Hospital —

Kids are at greater risk for frostbite than adults, both because they lose heat from their skin more rapidly and because they’re often reluctant to leave their winter fun to go inside and warm up.

Frostbite needs medical attention from a health care provider. It also can be associated with hypothermia, a serious medical condition that requires emergency medical care.

Keep Everyone Hydrated

Most of us think about staying warm in the winter outdoor cold.  But we often don’t think of hydration.

Says McKay Gorse at Patient First

Don’t think that you lose as much water during the winter? Take a look at your breath when you walk outside on a cold day. All of that steam is water vapor escaping your body with each breath.

Bundling up this time of year can also make us sweat more than usual when it’s time to get active. Since we dress in layers with turtlenecks and sweaters, our bodies work harder (by sweating) to cool us down. Shoveling snow, skiing, ice-skating, sledding or even building a snowman can be just as strenuous as summer activities. We work up a healthy sweat, and all of that lost water must be replaced.

So make sure your kids are taking breaks to drink fluids.  And it may be more enticing to offer them hot cocoa (we like the homemade kind so you can control the ingredients and amount of sugar — here’s one recipe here) or warm apple cider.  You can use a Thermos (they last forever!!) to keep the beverage warm, if you’re on location.

Wear Helmets For Snow Sports

If you’re the snowboarding or snow skiing family, make sure your kids wear helmets.  And even if you’re going sledding, it’s a good idea.