Kids in the Cold

By: Rachel Calderon
By: Rachel Calderon

A chilly day doesn't seem to freeze a child's love for playtime. But just like adults, children lose a lot of heat from their head and feet, so they should cover up with a hat, scarf and gloves. But don't forget what dangers could lie underneath all those layers.

"When kids are out playing they can get sweaty, and that can form a layer of moisture that can cause them to lose more body heat," Dr. Dave Bouslough, Ingham Regional Medical Center.

Once your child comes back inside, the first thing they should do is remove articles of wet clothing. Leaving them on longer than necessary can increase the amount of body heat they lose. Also, keep in mind that heat from your heating system can make skin more susceptible to dryness and cold damage.

Health experts recommend a cool-water humidifier. That small amount of moisture in the air can prevent serious skin damage. When bathing, minimal soap followed by a moisturizer, can stop skin from becoming too dry. Use sunscreen: the ultraviolet rays can reflect off the snow and be just as damaging as they are in the summer. And if your kids are swimmers, the chlorine should be washed of immediately because chlorine also has drying effects.

Since this is also the time of year where viruses are so common, kids with respiratory problems like asthma should also be extra careful.

"Be mindful of when your kids have a fever, as well as how often they're using their inhalers and nebulizers," said Dr. Bouslough.

Since kids aren't always aware of the damage cold weather can do, parents should intervene and try their best to keep them healthy and relatively warm.


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