Whether winter brings severe storms,
light snow or just cold temperatures, the American Academy of
Pediatrics (AAP) has some valuable tips on how to keep your children
safe and warm. Please feel free to excerpt these tips or use them in
their entirety for any print or broadcast story, with acknowledgment of
What to Wear
- Dress infants and children warmly for outdoor activities.
Several thin layers will keep them dry and warm. Always remember warm
socks, boots, gloves or mittens, and a hat.
- The rule of thumb
for older babies and young children is to dress them in one more layer
of clothing than an adult would wear in the same conditions.
- When riding in the car, babies and children should wear thin, snug layers rather than thick, bulky coats or snowsuits. See Winter Car Seat Safety Tips for additional information.
quilts, pillows, bumpers, sheepskins and other loose bedding should be
kept out of an infant’s sleeping environment because they are associated
with suffocation deaths. It is better to use sleep clothing like
one-piece sleepers or wearable blankets.
- If a blanket must be used to keep a sleeping infant
warm, it should be thin and tucked under the crib mattress, reaching
only as far as the baby’s chest, so the infant's face is less likely to
become covered by bedding materials.
- Frostbite happens when the skin and outer tissues become frozen.
This condition tends to happen on extremities like the fingers, toes,
ears and nose. They may become pale, gray and blistered. At the same
time, the child may complain that his/her skin burns or has become numb.
- If frostbite occurs, bring the child indoors and
place the frostbitten parts of her body in warm (not hot) water. 100 degress, or the tempterature of a warm bathtub, is
recommended. Warm washcloths may be applied to frostbitten nose, ears
- Do not rub the frozen areas.
- After a few minutes, dry and cover the child with clothing or blankets. Give him/her something warm to drink.
- If the numbness continues for more than a few minutes, call your doctor.
- Hypothermia develops when a child's temperature falls below
normal due to exposure to colder temperatures. It often happens when a
child is playing outdoors in extremely cold weather without wearing
proper clothing or when clothes get wet. It can occur more quickly in
children than in adults.
- As hypothermia sets in, the
child may shiver and become lethargic and clumsy. Speech may become
slurred and body temperature will decline in more severe cases
- If you suspect your child is hypothermic, call 911
at once. Until help arrives, take the child indoors, remove any wet
clothing, and wrap him in blankets or warm clothes.
© American Academy of Pediatrics, January 2019