As adults living in Southeast Michigan, we have become adapted to freezing temperatures and heavy snowfall. It goes without saying, that as parents, keeping our children warm during Michigan’s coldest days is also our responsibility. But, we still find ourselves asking “is he/she warm enough?” before we heading out of the door. We have some tips on making sure your kids are safe as we reach temperatures in the double digits….below zero.
- Layer Them Up! Bundle your kids up. You can always take layers off if you notice that your child is sweating. It is important to try and avoid having your child sweat when playing outside. Think about it, water and moisture freeze in extreme temperatures. Keeping kids dry during below zero temperatures is very important. Also, if you plan on taking long road trips, be sure your child will not overheat. It is recommended that children do not ride in a car seat with a winter coat on for safety reasons. So, not only will removing their coat before a long trip help
avoidoverheating ,it can also aide in car seat safety. Of coursewhen it is extremely cold you need to make sure you put their coat on before opening a door.
- Keep Them Dry! More than just keeping kids dry from sweat, you must keep them dry from outside elements as well. After a nice snowfall, kids like to go play outside and roll around in the snow. Hats, gloves, mittens, socks, and boots will all get wet from snow. Be sure to check on your child frequently, and if necessary swap out their accessories with a warm dry pair.
- Warm Up Breaks! Periodically, call your children in to warm up. Hot cocoa or soup is a great option to help warm up your child as well as re-hydrate them. Yes, children can still get dehydrated during the cold winter months. Sweating under their snowsuits as well as the moisture lost through their breath can all lead to winter dehydration in kids.
One of the most important things to pay attention to if your child enjoys playing in the cold is signs of frostbite or hypothermia. If you begin to notice pale, graying, or blistered skin, these are the first signs of frostbite. Be sure to bring your child in immediately and warm them up. Hypothermia is also very important to watch for. Slurred speech, clumsiness, and uncontrollable shivering are all signs of hypothermia. Call 9-1-1 if you believe your child is suffering from hypothermia.
Keep Children Away From Frozen Lakes
Many of our students live on or around lakes in the Pontiac or Waterford area. Pontiac Lake, Cass Lake, Sylvan Lake, are all beautiful lakes in our area. Children like to explore, and often like to “test the waters”, literally, to see if they can skate on them. It is important to know that just because a lake looks frozen, it may not be safe to stand or play on. Be sure to explain this to your children. If a child falls through the ice, hypothermia kicks in almost instantly. Be sure to keep an eye on your kids if you live on or near a lake in Southeastern, Michigan.
When You Should Keep Kids Inside
Going to the grocery store, running errands, of course, you may not be able to spend the entire day in the house with your kids. But, in extremely low temperatures staying indoors is your best option. When temperatures get to -15 degrees, a child’s skin can begin to freeze in a matter of minutes. When temperatures fall this low, it may be best to suggest indoor activities.