You don't have to be perfect to be the perfect parent!

So it is a little cold…get outside anyway!

snow suit

The weather outside is frightful….well at least cold!  Looks like we will be having a winter with more snow and cold than we did last year.  I am a fan of snow, and even cold weather, it makes me appreciate the spring.  I am not a fan of feeling cooped up, and I remember those days when the walls seemed to close in when we had four little kids inside all day long!  (kid cabin fever)  Even on cold days, children need fresh air and exercise. There are very few days during the winter months when it is absolutely too cold for your child to be outside, and it is good for you to be out in the fresh air too!  Winter illnesses are more frequent in families that stay cooped up and don’t get out in the fresh air.  Cold winter air does NOT increase your child’s risk for colds or flu!   So take a few precautions, and then get outside and enjoy the winter weather.  Summer will be here soon enough, and then we will be asking if it is too hot to be out!  🙂

  • The winter sun can cause sunburn!  Especially when there is a blanket of snow, the sun will reflect off the snow and ice resulting in sunburn on exposed skin.  My kids had very little exposed skin when they were out playing, just little eyes peeking out of hats and scarves…but sunscreen on those little exposed cheeks is a good idea. 
  • Winter weather can also cause chapped little cheeks and lips.  Think about using some Aquaphor cream on your little one’s cheeks to prevent or treat dry chapped skin.  Lip balm with an SPF of at least 15 is a good idea too.
  • Dress in layers.  Moisture-wicking clothes for the first layer is a good idea.  Children can work up a sweat walking in the snow and building those snowmen!  When children perspire they will chill and become cold quickly.  Make sure that heads are covered, fingers have mittens (mittens are warmer than gloves), toes have layered warm socks and boots and your child has very little exposed skin.  (For those older children, be sure they potty BEFORE layering! :))  Be sure that your child can see well, (no scarves or large hoods that block their vision) and that there are no long scarves that can get tangled or caught causing choking when playing and sledding.  
  •  Remember that children often don’t realize when they are cold…they are having too much fun.  Monitor the time, and bring your child in to warm up. At the first sign of a shiver or complaint of cold fingers and toes, it is time to head inside!  A cup of hot chocolate is a great way to get them back inside when it is time.
  •  Be sure that the sledding hill is safe.  Make sure the hill is clear of trees and obstacles, there is no water near the end of the slope, and that sledders are being smart and safe.  Helmets are recommended for children who are sledding and skiing.
  •  Be creative, build that snowman, hike and see the beauty of winter nature, feed the birds, look for animal prints, take a spray bottle of food coloring and water and “paint” the snow, and enjoy the season of winter.  Trust me, everyone is happier and sleeps better when we have had a bit of fresh air, exercise, and a little winter sun! 

Take a breath, enjoy the joyful moments of each day, and remember you don’t have to be perfect to be the perfect parent.



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