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WINTRY WEATHER – HOW TO PROTECT YOUR CHILD

This is Accuweather’s prediction for this weekend.

It sounds brutal. Let’s avoid falling sick. Know that.

· Young children generate less body heat, and get cold more quickly than adults.

· It is better to dress your child in layers of clothing that can be put on and taken off easily.

· Infants being pulled in a sled need extra bundling. Because they aren’t moving, they can’t generate body heat the way a playing child can.

TIPS TO MANAGE KIDS IN WINTER

· Children shouldn’t play outside alone. Establish a buddy system. Better yet, avoid outdoors. Never send children outside in extreme weather conditions such as snowstorms.

· Check often to see that your child is warm and dry. Younger children should take regular breaks and come inside for a warm drink.

· If your child’s feet and hands are warm, what they are wearing is usually good. Dress your child in layers of clothing that can be put on and taken off easily. Wear a hat because a lot of body heat is lost through the head. Keep ears covered at all times. Wear mittens and wear warm, waterproof boots that are roomy enough for an extra pair of socks and to wiggle toes. Use a neck warmer instead of a scarf. Remove wet clothing and boots immediately after playing.

· 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.

· If a blanket must be used to keep a sleeping infant warm, it should be tucked in around 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.

· Stay away from snowplows and snow blowers.

· Take extra caution when crossing roads. It might be hard for drivers to see you playing if they have snowy or frosty windows. Icy roads can also make it difficult to stop.

· Snowballs should never be aimed at people or cars. They are especially dangerous when the snow is hard-packed or icy.

· Don’t put metal objects in your mouth. Lips and tongues can freeze to the metal and cause an injury.

· Don’t eat snow, which can be dirty.

· Never sled on or near roadways. Look for shallow slopes that are free of trees, fences or any other obstacles.

· If frostbite occurs, bring the child indoors and place the frostbitten parts of her body in warm (not hot) water. 104° Fahrenheit (about the temperature of most hot tubs) is recommended. Warm washcloths may be applied to frostbitten nose, ears and lips. 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 your child suffers from winter nosebleeds, try using a cold air humidifier in the child’s room at night. Saline nose drops or petrolatum may help keep nasal tissues moist.

· Children 6 months of age and up should get the influenza vaccine to reduce their risk of catching the flu.

· 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.

Stay safe.

Source: Multiple including NIH, Healthychildren