Ensuring Winter Wellness: A KixNurse Guide to Winter Safety for Kids

Written by: Written by Cristina Tullio RN, BNI

While the wintertime can be fun and exciting, it may also present unique health and safety challenges for children. To promote the well-being of your child during this season, here are some essential KixCare recommended winter safety tips to keep your little ones happy and healthy during the cooler months.

Dress Warmly and in Layers:

  • Dressing in layers is key to maintaining warmth and preventing cold-related illnesses such as frostbite. Layers can be removed during play or winter sports as children sweat, or added back as they cool off. They also prevent the exposure of bare skin to the cold.
  • Ensure your child is dressed in a waterproof/windproof snowsuit. Opt for mittens over gloves as they tend to keep in heat better, as well as a scarf and a hat that covers their ears. A lot of body heat is lost from the head, making a warm hat essential to their winter gear.

Selecting Proper Boots:

  • Boots should be waterproof and thermal socks or 2 pairs of socks can be worn to protect their toes from the cold. 
  • Check that your child can still wiggle their toes when in their boots, boots can be purchased a size up to accommodate layers of socks or thicker socks without restricting circulation.

Sunscreen Isn’t Just for Summer:

  • UV rays are still present in the winter! Apply sunscreen to your child’s exposed skin, to protect against harmful effects of the sun.

Eczema Can Flare Up in Cold Temperatures:

  • The cool temperatures can be a trigger for eczema in some children. A thick layer of moisturizing or barrier cream that is gentle and fragrance-free can be applied on exposed skin such as the face to prevent dry skin and winter-related eczema flare-ups.

Hydration Always Matters:

  • The cold weather can sometimes be deceptively dehydrating. Encourage your child to stop for breaks to drink fluids regularly during sports or play.

Safe Outdoor Play:

  •  Teach your child to be cautious on icy or snowy surfaces. Avoid risky activities such as running on slippery sidewalks.
  • Outdoor play should be supervised to prevent accidents.
  • No ice is safe ice! Speak to your child about safety around frozen surfaces like ponds, streams, and lakes.
  • Keep your child inside at temperatures below -27°C, as the skin may freeze below this temperature.
  • Encourage breaks and have your child come inside to warm up regularly during outdoor activities.

Staying Active:

  • Helmets should be worn at all times when skiing, snowboarding, snowmobiling, and tobogganing.
  • Encourage physical activity indoors when outdoor conditions are challenging.

Vaccination:

  •  Consider having your child receive their annual flu vaccine. With the fall and winter comes flu season, and vaccination provides essential protection against influenza. Vaccination is recommended for children 6 months and older.
  • Consider making sure your child’s COVID-19 vaccines are up to date. Children above 6 months are eligible for vaccination against COVID-19.
  • Reach out to your Kixnurse today to help guide you on vaccination for your child.

Fire Safety:

  • If you have a fireplace or outdoor fire pit, use a safety screen and make sure to always keep a safe distance to prevent burns. 
  • Explain the dangers of playing near the fireplace/fire pits to your children and never leave a child unattended.

Indoor Air Quality:

  • Maintain good air quality in your home by regularly ventilating it. This may help reduce the risk of respiratory infections during the winter months.

Winter safety is a team effort. For professional guidance on safeguarding your child’s well-being during the winter season, join our Kix360° Membership today for 24/7 access to pediatric experts! Stay warm and stay safe!

More Posts from KixCare