Keeping young children safe and warm during the winter is a team effort. Young children are unaware of the dangers of extreme cold weather and more likely to lose body heat more quickly than adults. It is our duty as parents and/or teachers to keep children protected at all times while they are under our watchful eye. Young children are highly susceptible to hypothermia, a condition where their body temperature gets extremely low and they lose heat faster than it can produced. Listed below are some safety tips to keep children safe this winter.
Watch the Weather
Go to the Child Care Weather Watch website for play condition guidelines www.isbe.net/pdf/school_health/wind-heat-chart.pdf
If the wind chill is reported as -27 degrees Celsius (-16 degrees Fahrenheit), the weather is too extreme to play and frostbite will occur.
Continue to go outside if the weather permits. Germs do not circulate as well with the cooler air. Providing children exposure to different weather climates allow children to learn about their environment.
Dress Children in Layers
The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends young children should wear one more layer than the adult in the same weather conditions. This is due to the fact that pockets of air in between additional layers, help trap heat. The best materials for the winter include polyester, wool, down, fleece, waterproof and Gore-Tex.
Do not overdress/over layer children as this might enhance sweating which will cause moisture to occur and makes clothing wet.
Hats, gloves/mittens, and scarves help cover bare skin that would be exposed to the cold and wet conditions. It also reduces the drying out of the nose and throat linings.
Drink Plenty of Water
The rule of thumb is to try to have them drink 6-8 cups of water daily. Remember, some of this water can be derived by a healthy balanced diet which includes fruits and vegetables.
Brookridge Day School teachers have requested labeled water bottles to be brought to school each day. During the winter, all children must have a coat, gloves/mittens, and hats in order to go outside to play. It is also highly encouraged to have an additional hat, gloves/mittens in each child’s cubby so they do not have to transfer them back and forth from home to school. Any child who does not have winter gear might have to forfeit their recess time due to inadequate clothing. Thank you for keeping our children safe all year long!