Cold Weather Safety
Looking at our country’s weather forecast is like looking at a scene in Frozen!
The weather channel reports that some areas will be seeing their coldest air temperatures this week, dropping into the negative 30 and 40 degrees range.
Cold weather is especially dangerous for little ones. Children are more susceptible to hypothermia and frostbite, and young babies lose heat more quickly due to their inability to regulate their temperature well. Since we (unfortunately) can’t hibernate inside with Starbucks and warm blankets all winter, we need to know how to handle these freezing weathers.
Here are some tips on keeping your child safe in low temperatures:
- Dress young children and infants in one more layer of clothing than an adult would wear. Remember to put on gloves, hats, and warm waterproof boots. If they are playing outside, be sure to replace layers frequently so that they are not in wet clothing.
- Bathing your infant less frequently in the winter will help prevent their skin from drying out
- DO NOT put blankets in an infants crib at night, as this might cause suffocation and contribute to sudden infant death syndrome.
- Know the signs of hypothermia: shivering, slurred speech, and lethargy. If you suspect your child is hypothermic, call 911 and wrap the child in warm blankets until help arrives.
- Know the signs of frostbite: pale, grey and/or blistered skin that has a burning sensation or becomes numb. If your child has frostbite, apply warm water or a warm washcloth to frostbitten parts of the body.
- Check the weather! Be sure to know the temperature outside, as well as the wind chill, before taking little ones outside. Be aware of all weather advisories and know the temperatures that are dangerous for children.
The following image is from the Iowa Department of Health.
Green indicates conditions are comfortable for outdoor play
Yellow indicated caution
Red indicates dangerous for outdoor play
With this cold weather come nasty coughs, colds, and flu’s. Remember that Urgent Care for Kids is open nights, weekends and holidays to help keep your family healthy this winter!