Monday, December 12, 2011

Tips on keeping the kids warm

It is very easy to keep kids warm outside during inclement weather. There are a few very simple, common sense, rules. And if you stick to them, you will do just fine. So here they are:
  1.  Unless absolutely necessary, don’t take the kids out of the house for extended periods of time if the temperature is below 30 degrees. 30-45 minutes of playing in the snow and cold is plenty. Anything over that is an invitation for a disaster. 
  2. Make sure the kids wear adequate clothing. And this goes both ways. The first winter I had a baby, the poor thing was so overdressed, he got a heat rash – in January. So, take it easy. The first layer should be thermal underwear. Personally, I really like ski underwear, because it’s made for the cold – it will take the sweat away from the body, and keep you warm. Good, long socks are a must. In winter, I use wool, either skiing or hiking socks. They are a bit thicker, but a whole lot more comfortable for those winter escapades. Next, a warm layer. Sweater and pants. Pants should be lined, and if going out to play in the snow, waterproof. Sweater should be from natural fibers, wool being the best. Make sure the kids wear adequate protective gear. Jacket, clearly. If it has a warm layer and a waterproof/windproof layer, it will work great. Good, comfortable boots. A hat that covers ears is a must. 85% of body heat is lost through the head. Now, be careful with this one. Because, if the kids get overheated when playing, you want some of that heat to leave, but you don’t want them to take the hat off. So, again, a good solution is a hat made of natural fibers, wool preferably, lined around the edges with fleece. You are not going to believe how comfortable these are. Then come gloves. They should be waterproof on the outside and warm on the inside. You don’t want to be dealing with frost bites on those little fingers. When in doubt about a piece of gear, try it yourself. There is a reason kids don’t want to put something on. Maybe, just maybe, it’s uncomfortable. 
  3. And, finally, skin protection. Get yourself a BIG tub of lanolin-based skin creams appropriate for children. And slather that all over the little hands, face, nose, and lips. A few brands that come to mind are Lansinoh and Weleda. Why lanolin? It’s simple. It is a natural wax, extracted from sheep’s wool that has proven to be one of the best protectors of gentle baby skin. Way better than petroleum jelly. And infinitely more environment-friendly. Mind you, a very small of population is allergic to lanolin, so test it before you use it. 
Trust your kids and your instincts. If they tell you they are hot, they are hot. If they tell you they are cold, they are cold simple. And if you see a little chin shivering, it’s time to come inside, no matter what they say.

We hope these tips will help you and your baby have a great time playing outside and the snow this winter. And most important tip: have fun!

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