Baby it’s cold outside!

Safe, outdoor winter fun with your little one

Winter isn’t just coming; it’s here. And while you didn’t think twice about heading outside with your little one for summer or fall fun, you may be less certain about bring baby or toddler out in wintry conditions. The good news is that, as long as you’re smart about it, wintertime outdoor play is a wonderful thing! It’s also healthy for your little one to get some fresh air and not be cooped up indoors (where germs love to spread!) all winter. Here are some tips to keep in mind before heading out:

Layering

Just as you would dress in layers for cold weather, the same strategy is best for your little one. As a rule of thumb for older babies and young kids, the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends “one more layer of clothing than an adult would wear in the same conditions.” Think: thin layers that are somewhat loose and encourage wicking (avoid cotton). And top things off with a waterproof outer layer. Something else to keep in mind: change kids out of wet clothes right away after they come inside.

Accessories

Yes, we all want to be fashionable despite the cold conditions. But, for babies, accessories are especially important from a safety standpoint. Insulated, waterproof mittens keep little fingers from freezing, and the same goes with boots, to keep toes warm and dry. Make sure your child has a hat that covers his or her ears, and a scarf is also a good idea when it’s particular cold.

Sun protection

Winter outdoor time is a great and vital source of Vitamin D, but kids still need protection when they’re out. Cue the sunscreen, sunglasses, and hat, just as you would on a hot day.

Hydration

Also, just like in warmer weather, staying hydrated is key. Breathing cold air sucks moisture out the body—lungs included. If your child has asthmatic tendencies, talk to your pediatrician about inhalers or other solutions. 

When is it simply too cold?

In general, the wind-chill is your best guide. As recommended by Blue Cross Blue Shield, when it’s “32 degrees and above, it’s safe to be outside. In temperatures 13 degrees to 31 degrees, indoor breaks should happen every 20-30 minutes. For wind-chills of 13 degrees and below, you should move activities indoors and outside of the
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