When LA Kids Meet Snow!
We don’t exactly have white winters here in Los Angeles, so many people opt to spend their winter vacations in a cooler climate, to experience a bit of winter magic. Or, maybe you’re visiting relatives up north this holiday season. Whatever the case, if you have winter activities planned this year, we’ve got the ultimate cold weather safety tips and snow guide for those of you not used to sub freezing temps!
How to dress
Especially when traveling to a cold area for the first time, it’s easy to under-dress or even overdress. After all, in L.A., 70 degrees is sweater weather! When it’s cold enough for snow, it’s time to break out the kids’ snow gear. Hats, scarves, mittens, warm socks, boots, and coats should all be on your packing list. We recommend dressing in layers that can be removed as needed, especially if you’re going in and out a lot. A long sleeve shirt, possibly one with short sleeves underneath, a thin sweater or hoodie, and a warm coat on top should do the trick.
Note for those with small kids: Remember, it’s never safe to wear a thick coat in a car seat. The bulkiness makes the straps too loose, and in an accident your child may not be fully protected. You can instead, use a blanket over your strapped-in child, or just drape their coat over them like a blanket.
With all this winter fun, it can be easy to lose track of time. Spending too much time in the cold can increase your risk of getting frostbite. It’s important to understand what frostbite is, especially if you’ve never been exposed to extremely cold temperatures. Fingers are a very common place to get frostbite, but frostbite can also occur on ears, nose, cheeks, chin and toes.
It starts off as frostnip, which is pretty common, and results in a cold, tingly feeling along with numbness. If the skin receives too much exposure to cold temperatures, frostbite can occur.
Tell your child to come inside as soon as they feel any numbness or tingling due to the cold. Let them know that if their gloves or any item of clothing gets wet, they should come inside to change into dry clothes. Pay attention to the weather, especially the windchill. The lower the temperature and windchill, the greater the risk for frostbite. If your child experiences superficial or deep frostbite, have them seen by a doctor immediately.
Hypothermia is another serious concern when it comes to cold weather. Watch out for slurred speech, uncontrollable shivering, drowsiness, clumsiness, and loss of coordination. These are all signs that the body temperature is falling very low. Hypothermia requires immediate medical attention.
The good news is that these situations are rare if you take precautions and dress warmly. So whether skiing is on the agenda or just a good old snowball fight, have fun, and use your best judgement to keep your kids safe this winter season! Enjoy!