By: Eric Lupton, CEO, PoolFence.com
Across the nation, snow has finally arrived. Kids may be excited for snow days and ice skating, but this can be a worrisome time for many parents. At Life Saver Pool Fence, we believe in keeping children safe all year long! Snow can be a lot of fun, but it is critical to stay as safe as possible. In today’s blog, let’s explore some cold weather tips.
Cold Weather Tips
Layers of Clothes
Some of the most important cold weather tips for little ones always involve wearing the proper winter attire! When we’re talking about water safety, the magic phrase is “layers of protection.” For playing in the snow, the rules are a bit simpler. “Layers of clothing” are the order of the day. This is the best way to fend off the harsh climate. Just remember not to overdo it. Depending on the temperature, more or less layers may be appropriate. Use your judgment.
Snow pants and waterproof boots are a must for kids making snow angels or generally frolicking in the icy cold. Speaking of waterproofing, waterproof mittens or gloves are the best choice for keeping little hands warm.
Finally, don’t forget your hat! Wearing a warm hat, a scarf and some earmuffs can provide extra protection for little ones.
Fear of Frostbite
Most cold weather tips center around a healthy fear of frostbite. It’s easy to see why. Frostbite can wreak terrifying havoc on the human body. After too much exposure to the cold, the body’s tissues begin to freeze. This usually happens on places like the fingers, toes and face… that’s why it pays to bundle up!
Take a Break
Beyond dressing in layers, one of the best ways to avoid frostbite is to take a break! Staying out in the cold for too long can become dangerous. Warm up by heading inside for a warm mug of hot chocolate. It’s a fun family tradition that will brighten the day and keep everyone safe. Active supervision can help a watchful adult decide when it’s time to come in from the cold.
What to do in Case of Frostbite
If you or a child ever have difficulty feeling their face, ears or extremities, it can be a sign of frostbite. Sometimes, body parts affected by frostbite may hurt or feel stiffer than usual when touched. The affected skin may also be pale and shiny. In this case, it’s time for medical attention.
Once you call a doctor, try to wiggle the potentially frostbitten areas as much as possible. The goal is to help the blood circulate. Above all do not apply hot water or put anything hot against the affected area. This can greatly increase the damage done by frostbite.
Walking on Ice
In this final section of cold weather tips, let’s talk about the dangers of thin ice. Each year, far too many children and adults walk onto a newly frozen lake and fall in. We always warn our readers to beware a false sense of security. Make no mistake, thin ice is a major risk.
Outside of a controlled skating rink, it’s often just not possible to completely judge the thickness and stability of a frozen body of water. There is no such thing as totally safe ice and it is always better to avoid a possible risk. If you or your children are going to venture out onto unsure ice, be sure to wear a proper U.S. Coast Guard Approved Life Jacket.
Regardless, here are cold weather tips to keep in mind when it comes to ice:
- Old ice isn’t necessarily better. In fact, clear, newly formed ice is often stronger.
- The most dangerous and easily breakable ice is often formed near flowing water and currents. A still, shallow pond tends to be the least treacherous.
- Don’t count on the entire body of water freezing evenly. It all depends on the conditions. Ice can be a solid foot thick in one area, but paper-thin just a few steps away.
- Snow is heavy! Ice that is covered with snow should be viewed as more dangerous. After all, that ice is already carrying a heavy load.
No matter what, education is an important factor when it comes to water safety. You can read about the dangers of cold water shock here in our detailed blog.
Above all, we want everyone to stay safe-and-sound this winter. Hopefully these cold weather tips are helpful to you and your loved ones. Please spread the word by sharing this blog with them!