The weather has taken a real turn in the past couple of weeks and the nights are drawing in so early now too! As much as the summer months present their own set of hazards to children, winter time has its own perils to content with.
Here’s our simple guide to keeping everybody healthy and safe as we move into the colder winter months.
Keep them Warm!
Six Tip Tops for keeping your young charges wrapped up and warm this Winter:
☑ Dress babies and toddlers in one extra layer than you would typically wear outside – remember that they’re not warming up through exercise in the same way that you are.
☑ Appropriate layers for a baby: cotton vest, thick socks, fleecy tops and suits, snowsuits with mittens and feet, hats that cover the ears. Be mindful that the majority of body heat is lost through the hands and the head, so keep these areas covered when it’s cold outside.
☑ Good layers for kids: thermal underwear, polo necks, fleecy items, jogging bottoms, doubling up on socks, water-resistant jackets, waterproof mittens (for preventing horrid frostbite), a hat that covers ears, earmuffs, and waterproof boots with gripping surface.
☑ Neck gaiters are safer than scarves, which can be a strangle hazard.
☑ Children should come inside every thirty minutes or so to warm up when the weather is cold.
☑ Remember sunblock on ski trips with the family.
Keep them Healthy!
Contrary to popular belief, it’s often being cooped up inside in confined spaces which causes bugs to spread in the winter months rather than frolicking in the cold. Focus on creating a really healthy, balanced diet during these germy months – plenty of vitamin C and hearty vegetables - and keep on top of hand washing after bathroom trips.
Do not forget the need to stay hydrated in the colder months: we’re often very good at keeping beakers with fresh water to hand when the weather is hot, but less so when the weather is chilly. Ask your employers whether they’d like you to purchase mini hand sanitizers for your charges to pack in their school bags, as these are especially good for keeping hygiene standards up when you can’t keep an eye on things. If they’re not feeling 100% and you detect a fever, try to keep them at home rather than sending them to school or nursery where they might spread their germs and come home poorlier.
Keep them Safe!
Do not forget that it is unsafe to strap children and babies into their car seats wearing their coats and snowsuits. Why? Because this chunky outerwear creates a barrier between the child and their seat, enabling them to move around more freely within the seat and preventing you from strapping them in securely enough. Plan ahead and warm up the car before your journey, or use blankets in the car which can be draped over their laps once buckled into their seats.
Winter safety is all about preparation. What are your most important health and safety rules for keeping children warm, safe and healthy in cold weather? Join in the discussion on our Facebook page and we will share your wisdom with the community.