Playing outdoors in the winter is something all children look forward to. When it snows they rush to the windows to admire the whiteness and then begin their plans for snowballs and sledding. As anyone who has ever helped a child dress to enjoy a snow fall knows, it very often takes more time to get the child ready to brace the weather than the amount of time they actually spend outdoors playing. But dressing warmly is the most important thing to keep in mind, with enough layers of clothing to keep them dry and warm until they run back inside again.
With cold weather quickly approaching, take some time now to make sure you have the appropriate clothing to keep your child warm as they play.
1. Dress the child in layers. A T-shirt, a long sleeved shirt, and then a coat provides three layers of protection against the cold. Use pajama bottoms under pants to help keep legs warm.
2. Choose a good quality water resistant coat. While wool or knit coats may be more fashionable, they are not good protection against wet snow. Shop the thrift or second hand stores for good bargains on play coats. They usually have a wide variety of styles and sizes so you’ll be able to find what you need.
3. Make sure they have on a hat, and insist that they keep it on while outdoors. A hat that covers the ears will provide extra warmth and help keep little ears from becoming frostbitten. As much as 60 percent of body heat can be lost through the top of the head, so a good hat is a wise investment. A ski mask can also help keep little faces and ears warmer. If the coat they are wearing has a hood, put it up over the hat for extra warmth.
4. Put on mittens or gloves. Mittens are easier for younger children because they have trouble wiggling their fingers into gloves. Gloves or mittens made out of water proof materials add extra protection against wetness. One other thing about gloves and mittens: they disappear without notice. Where there were two matching mittens just yesterday, one has now escaped and is MIA. Take advantage of sales and thrift stores and buy extra gloves when you can. You’ll need them.
5. Use a snow suit for younger children and ski pants and a parka for older ones. The one piece design helps keep out cold air and wetness and help keep them warm and dry longer.
6. Add socks and boots. Layering two pairs of socks will help feet stay warmer, as will fleece lined boots. Every day gym shoes will not keep feet either warm or dry in snow. Boots with tread on the bottom help grip the snow and prevent spills and falls.
Check out Aldi Special Buys this week, they have Children’s Snow Boots for less than £12
Children are more susceptible than adults to cold and frost bite so dressing them warmly in cold weather is very important. Check with them often as they play outdoors and insist they come in to warm up and dry off if they get wet or skin begins to turn red.
After you help them remove their wet clothing, hang it up to dry. By the time it does, they’ll probably be ready to go back out again.