Baby, it’s getting cold outside, so I’m sharing six winter safety tips for your kids this season. Here’s why I’m giving this advice to you: Many people have a trip to Alaska on their bucket list. Since I had the privilege of being born and raised in the last frontier state, I don’t have to have that trip on my list. Alaska is a beautiful state, but man it’s cold and the winters are long! You would think I’d be a pro at knowing winter safety tips, but it wasn’t until I became a parent and had a newborn while living in Colorado that taught me how little I knew. I remember wearing flip flops in the middle of winter as a teenager, so yes, I had some learning to do as a parent to keep a baby safe during winter.
When the temperature outside drops, it’s important to know how to keep your kids safe in the winter. While California winters are definitely mild in comparison to Colorado, the winter safety tips below can be used even in our cold and rainy season (or if you head up to a weekend in the mountains!).
6 Winter Safety Tips to Keep Kids Safe and Warm
Dress Children In Layers for Winter Safety
This is one of the things that Alaskans know best. Layers, layers, and more layers! Dress your kids in thin layers of clothing to help them from overheating. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends dressing kids in one more layer of clothing than an adult would wear. Always remember to cover their head, hands, and feet – which means hats, gloves, and warm boots or shoes. As a second-time mom, I now know that those cute little baby socks don’t stay on! So for the winter months invest in some warm fleece booties with snaps.
Car Seat Safety
Car seat safety in the winter can be tricky. You want your kids to be warm, but you have to safely secure them in their seat. Did you know that winter coats, snowsuits, and bulky clothes in general should never be worn underneath the harness of the car seat?! These types of clothing create extra space between the child and the straps. In the event of a car crash, the harness would not be secure enough.
Additionally, don’t use or be tempted by the car seat covers that go underneath your child’s seat. Instead, your child can wear their coat backward, but over the harness straps. You can also place a blanket over your child once they are buckled in. I’ve heard great things about car seat ponchos but have yet to try them.
Keep Children Hydrated
In the winter months, kids can easily become dehydrated by breathing in the drier air. Keep them hydrated by offering lots of water, warm beverages (hello, hot chocolate excuse!), and soups. I personally will be trying this hot chocolate recipe for
me my toddler soon!
Pack An Emergency Bag To Keep In Your Car
This is a winter safety tip I learned from my dad while learning to drive as a teenager in Alaska. He always told me to keep a blanket and extra shoes in the car, as well as to never leave the gas with less than half a tank. Now that I’m a parent myself, I’m putting together an emergency bag for the car this winter season. On the list: blankets, hats and mittens, extra outfits, shoes, bottled water, and some snacks. These can come in handy if your kids simply needed a dry change of clothes or if you ever got stranded on the road.
Contrary to what many believe, cold weather does not cause colds or the flu. The viruses that cause colds and the flu just tend to occur more in the winter. This means that frequent hand washing is super important this time of year. Children who are six months and older can receive the influenza vaccine to help prevent the flu during this season.
This is one that’s difficult to remember, even as an adult! UV rays are still very strong in the winter and can reflect off the snow. Pick a broad-spectrum sunscreen with SPF 20 or higher, and don’t forget those sunglasses for baby!
Do you have any favorite winter safety tips or tricks for keeping your kids safe and warm in the winter? Share in the comments below.