People who enjoy our wintry weather here in Ontario know that dressing properly is key to making the most of the season! As Canadians, while the cold temperatures may or may not be our favorite, they definitely don’t stop us from getting outside.
Winter weather may not be here for a few weeks, but to prepare your family ahead of time we wanted to share with you some tips to help your children stay cozy, warm and safe during outdoor play! With the proper clothing, outerwear and a few preventative measures, you can make winter your own and have plenty of fun outside. Read on!
Be Sure to Layer Up!
Winter enthusiasts are well aware that layering is simply imperative when the weather drops below minus fifteen or so. Of course, the first layer needs to be able to absorb perspiration with the ability to get rid of it before your body becomes damp and cold. Cotton should be avoided for this layer because it will definitely retain moisture which means even if you have multiple layers on, you’ll still feel frigid. Choose a long sleeve thermal shirt instead; the synthetic fiber will ensure you stay dry and warm without the frustration of moisture.
Add an insulating piece of clothing over the bottom piece; this will encourage your body to keep the heat in, and the cold out. Be sure that this layer is substantial as well as comfortable so your child can still move around and play with ease. We recommend selecting natural wool or fleece for the insulating layer.
Lastly, you’ll want to ensure that your child also has a protective layer to protect against harsh weather conditions like cold wind, rain or snow. This layer should be waterproof but breathable at the same time so that perspiration doesn’t get trapped inside. In really cold weather, you may want to use a shell that is built with insulating properties as well; this will work well with the second layer, providing extra warmth and protection.
Pay Attention to Sensitive Areas
The biggest concern while your children play outdoors is the risk of frost bite. Unfortunately in freezing weather conditions it is easy to occur and typically targets your hands, nose, ears, and feet. To deal with the cold, the body concentrates its energy, and thus its heat, around its vital areas, leaving the extremities in need of cover and warmth.
Get those toques on! Without a hat, your child will lose half their body’s heat; this is a true saying we’ve all heard before. Skip the headband and opt for full coverage with a hat, unless it is a mild winter day. Protect the neck and throat region with a scarf or neck warmer and if the temperatures are beyond a scarf, a full-face balaclava is a true saviour!
In relation to hands, mittens will provide extra warm and comfort than standard gloves except for the fact that they aren’t as good for finger dexterity. In either option, the most important factor is making sure that they are breathable, warm, and waterproof!
A quality pair of boots will keep toes toasty and dry! Have your child try on an insulated pair of boots with thick but breathable socks; this will ensure the boots fit properly and that there isn’t any friction present. Too much movement can lead to blisters and cold feet! Skip cotton socks and opt for a combination of synthetic fiber and wool; this material is far more effective in reducing dampness.
Keep Eyes Protected
Sometimes this important accessory is forgotten about, but it is one that can be detrimental to your eyes long-term! The sun itself warrants a good pair of sunglasses, but what can cause more damage to the eyes is the sun’s reflection off the snow. Photophthalmia is eye inflammation and with it comes unpleasant side effects like stinging, redness and tearing. Your kids should wear a good pair of sunglasses year round on a bright day, but it is especially crucial on a sunny winter day to protect your eyes from potential damage. These sunglasses shouldn’t interfere with visibility of course so choose them carefully and check that they provide full coverage over the eyes.
With the right outerwear, a few minutes of preparation and appropriate winter accessories, your children will love taking advantage of the playground all year round. No need to stay cooped up indoors playing video games or watching TV your kids can play in the snow for hours, embracing the wintry conditions while feeling warm. Fresh air and physical activity is always a better option for your child’s mental and physical health.