Don’t Chill Out
As any parent knows, the kids can get a little stir-crazy when they are cooped up inside for extended periods of time, and being outside during the winter months practically guarantees that they will stay active instead of engaging in sedentary activities like video games or watching television. But keeping your kids safe in winter conditions is of paramount importance; use this handy guide to make sure they are prepared for the conditions.
Safe Outdoor Temperatures
The temperatures may not be brutal, but add a gust of wind and you’re ready to be indoors almost immediately. How long can kids play outdoors while still being safe?
Green Zone | 30°F +
A comfortable temperature is 30 degrees and above. However, this doesn’t mean to ditch the winter coat, hats, and mittens; a good practice is to make sure to dress your kids in at least one more layer than you would be comfortable in. Be sure that your little ones stay hydrated to regulate body temperature and keep your eyes open for signs they’re getting too cold. If they’re shivering, bring them inside (even if they say they’re not cold!), feel their hands and feet to ensure they’re not getting icy, and watch for unexplained fussiness. Require that your kids keep a hat on as long as they are outside; they should come indoors for a break every 40 minutes.
Check and make sure that their socks and gloves stay dry.
Yellow Zone | About 20°F – 30°F
Use the same precautions as above, but keep in mind that signs of chill may show sooner. Instead of taking a break every 40 minutes, bring your children in more often, such as every 20-30 minutes.
Make sure that the layers they’re wearing are breathable, as sweat on exposed skin increases the risk of hypothermia. Older kids often remove their coats if they’re too warm, so make sure they’re wearing more than a thin undershirt. Check and make sure that their socks and gloves stay dry.