As you’re collecting Frosty’s corncob pipe and button nose as you head outdoors this winter, don’t forget your own cold-weather gear. Without proper precautions, your winter wonderland can become a frostbite fiasco. Here are some tips to keep you and your family laughing all the way:
Bundle up. Several layers of loosely woven cotton or wool, with a waterproof shell on the outside, will help keep you warm and dry. It’s also important to keep those boots, gloves and hats on your kids – and not Mr. Snowman.
Wear sunscreen. Snow can reflect up to 85% of the sun’s ultraviolet rays, even on cloudy days, so use moisturizing sunscreen frequently.* This can help protect skin from windburn, too.
Set time limits. While there’s no one set limit for time outdoors, once kids get cold or damp it’s probably time to go inside. The colder it is, and the lower the wind chill, the less time you should spend outside.
Get quality equipment. You trust your winter gear to keep your family protected, so make sure those sweaters, boots and boards are safe and reliable, not just stylish.
Consider your destination. Whether you’re in your own backyard or on a foreign mountainside, stick to locations you know are safe. Check beforehand that the ice on your skating pond is thick enough and that your sledding hill doesn’t end in traffic.
Ensure car safety. In the cold, the last thing you need is a car that won’t start or ends up stranded in a snowdrift. Prepare your car for winter by keeping it fueled and in good working order. Also keep winter safety equipment in your trunk – including a shovel, blankets and a survival kit.
Beware of ice. Take the time to clear snow and lay down rock salt on walkways to prevent dangerous slips and falls when you are out having fun. Be particularly careful on stairs and bridges.
Watch the wind chill. Check the wind-chill index to help you determine how cold it actually feels outside. You may need to save your outdoor fun for another day.
The best thing you can do to keep your family safe this winter is be prepared. Watching over your family shouldn’t stop you from joining in the fun, but be ready to act in case of an emergency.