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Kids play outside in the snow.

Keep Kids Safe in Winter Conditions

Winter fun can bring safety concerns. Here’s how to keep your kids healthy during the colder months.

Bundle them up to stay warm and dry.

Think several thin layers. Start with a base layer that holds heat and not moisture, such as wool, silk, or polypropylene. Top with a mid layer like wool or fleece and an outer layer that’s resistant to water and wind. Keep extremities warm with mittens, waterproof boots, wool socks, and a hat. When buckling little ones into a car seat, remove puffy jackets, as thick layers can lessen the effectiveness of a car seat’s restraints.

Know when it’s too cold.

Kids can become too cold faster than adults, especially if their clothes get wet. If you see a child shivering, slurring speech, and acting lethargic, call 911—it could be hypothermia. Take the child inside, wrap them in blankets, and swap any cold or wet clothes with warm and dry ones.

Frostbite occurs when the skin on extremities like fingers and noses becomes so cold that it freezes. The first indicator is redness and tingling. You can prevent this by not letting kids play in weather that’s too frigid and keeping them dry and bundled up. But if it does occur, bring them inside immediately and place the frostbitten parts of the body in warm, not hot, water. Do not rub the area, and contact your doctor right away.

Remember the sun.

The sun’s rays reflecting off the snow can cause sunburn. Apply sunscreen on exposed parts of the body and give your child sunglasses or goggles to wear.

Sled and ski safely.

When sledding, kids should sit with feet first on a hill that isn’t crowded, too icy, steep, or blocked by trees. Make sure their skiing or snowboarding equipment fits properly. Kids grow fast, so don’t assume the gear and safety equipment that fit last year will still work this year. Helmets and goggles are a must for all activities.

Experience Pediatric Care
Barton Pediatrics welcomes Board-certified Pediatrician, Michael P. Doyle, MD, FAAP, to its team of physicians in South Lake Tahoe. To learn more about Barton Pediatrics and its complete care for children from birth to 18 years old, visit BartonHealth.org/Pediatrics or call 530.543.5550.