No matter how low the temperatures drop, kids will still want to play outside. And to be honest, there aren’t many things more fun than having a snowball fight with friends. While bundling up and facing the elements may seem overwhelming, keeping kids active outdoors in cooler temps can be perfectly safe and a lot of fun. Kids need fresh air, along with time to yell, run, jump, and play. Here are a few of our cold weather tips for outdoor play that will keep kids warm, safe, and dry.
It’s no surprise that kids will need warm clothes when playing outside in cold temperatures. You’ll want to make sure their coats, boots, and mittens are adequately insulated and waterproof. Wool socks are a great choice as they tend to wick away moisture faster than cotton. When heading off to school, it’s a good idea to consider multiple layers so your child can be comfortable both inside and outside throughout the day.
Protecting Their Skin
When heading outdoors in cold temperatures, you’ll want to have minimal skin exposed. Don’t risk frostbite by playing outdoors without gloves. Bitter temperatures and dry air can wreak havoc on your skin. Be sure to use a moisturizer after bath time, particularly on areas such as hands and feet. A good lip balm will protect lips from becoming cracked and dry, which is something we often see this time of year.
Snacks and Hydration
It’s easy for kids to forget to eat and drink while playing outside. It’s a good idea to have snacks on hand along with a big cup of tea or hot cocoa. It is important for your kiddos to stay hydrated in order to regulate body temperature.
While making snow angels and sledding down the highest hills is a guaranteed good time, know when to stop and bring the littles in for a nice warm cup of hot cocoa. Encouraging short breaks will keep them from getting too cold. Extended exposure to extreme temperatures can be dangerous – leading to hypothermia or even frostbite.
Signs of Trouble
If you notice rosy cheeks, wet gloves or boots, or a runny nose, it’s time to head indoors for a break. Numbness, extreme shivering, and discolorations in the skin can all be signs your little one has gotten too cold. If these or more extreme symptoms of hypothermia or frostbite or present, you should head to the emergency room right away.
As a general rule, you shouldn’t let your kids out to play in temperatures less than 20 degrees. And don’t neglect the wind chill, which can make the temperature feel much colder.