NEW YORK (CNN) – Winter temperatures have arrived early in many parts of the United States and children are heading outside to go sledding, build snow men, or just plain have fun. As you bundle up your kids, take a few precautions to ensure they are safe out in the cold.
It may seem obvious, but dress your children in layers. That way if one layer gets wet, they can remove it and still be warm. Wearing waterproof pants and jackets as the top layer, is one way to stay dry in the snow. Cotton holds moisture. Wool is a better choice. Don’t forget the mittens, hats, scarves and waterproof boots.
Spending too much time in the cold increases your child’s risk for frostbite. The ears and nose as well as the hands and feet are the most vulnerable, so keep those well covered. The first warning signs are often a “pins and needles” sensation and numbness.
Cold weather can also cause the body to lose heat faster than we can produce it, leading to a drop in body temperature called hypothermia. If left untreated it can be life threatening.
For kids, it’s a winter wonderland out there, so check on them often so they stay safe as they play.