On days that you can see your breath, you very likely find a sweater or coat to put on so you can feel warmer when you go outside. Obviously, you make sure your kids have as big of a coat as possible on days like this as well.
But what about a hat? Many people consider headwear an option. Adults can do as they like, of course, but hats should be just as much a requirement as a jacket or hoodie would be for children. This is because younger ones, especially young children, can lose up to one-third of their body heat through their heads while outside in below-average temperatures.
Leaving their heads exposed can make them more likely to get sick or suffer from hypothermia or even frostbite.
How To Dress Your Child In Cold Weather
Here are the six pieces of clothing that can keep your child correctly protected in cold winter:
- Gloves or mittens
- Waterproof boots
- A scarf that covers the face and neck
- Water and wind-resistant coat
- Several thick layers of loose clothing
Wind Chill Wise
Use the wind chill as the best judge on whether it’s too cold to play outside.
- 32 and above: Children can comfortably play outside when dressed appropriately. Set reasonable time limits for outdoor play.
- 13 degrees to 31 degrees: Use caution. Limit outdoor time to 20 to 30 minutes and have children come inside periodically to warm up.
- Below 13 degrees: Move activated indoors.
How would you know if your child is suffering from hypothermia? If their shivering appears as if it could be painful, their breathing and pulse rate decreases in speed, or their skin starts to appear pale, then symptoms of hypothermia have already started to set in. At this point, outside play time should be cut short immediately.
Frostbite is the freezing of cells. There are different levels of frostbite. The most important part to know is that if your child says that their skin feels tingly or feels like pricks, they should be sent inside to warm up immediately. This is one of the first symptoms of frostnip, which is a lighter form of frostbite. It’s usually the surface area of the ears, nose, digits, and cheeks that suffer the most from frostnip. Once they feel comfortable, they may be tempted to rub these areas to warm up faster, but don’t allow this to happen, either. Since the skin cells are damaged, rubbing it could result in the skin completely coming off.
Do you see the skin turning extreme shades of white, black, or are blisters starting to show? If so, they need to be sent to the hospital as soon as possible because they are now suffering from frostbite.
What Type of Hat?
So what kind of hat should you have your kids wear? A baseball cap does cover the top of the head, but it leaves the ears and part of the head exposed. It would be best to save those until warmer days arrive. Toboggans or any hat covering the back of the head and ears is the best choice, and the thicker, the better. Keep them with the coats so the kids know that if they need one, they need the other.