Check out these tips to stay safe in cold weather. Click here to download the PDF. Remember, children are more vulnerable than adults to the affects of cold weather.
Sleeping Safely in Any Season
Keep babies' cribs free of stuffed animals and extra blankets. A firm mattress covered with a tight-fitting crib sheet is all that an infant needs to sleep safely.
If you are worried about keeping babies warm, dress them in a wearable blanket, also known as a sleep sack.
To help prevent frostbite, dress children warmly and don't allow them to spend too much time outside.
Dress children in layers of warm clothing (that way, if the top layer gets wet, they will still have a dry layer underneath).
Car seats and winter coats don't mix. Bulky coats can compress in a crash and crate a loose car seat harness. Instead, lay the jacket or a blanket over children once you've safely strapped them into their car seat.
Keeping Healthy Outdoors
Have children come in periodically to prevent hypothermia or frostbite. A temperature of zero degrees and a wind speed of 15 mph creates a wind chill temperature of -19 degrees - in these conditions, frostbite can occur in just 30 minutes.
Frost nip is an early warning sign of frostbite. The skin may feel numb or tingly or appear red.
To prevent frostbite, check that mittens and socks are dry and warm. Frostbite occurs mostly on fingers, toes, ears, noses and cheeks. The affected area becomes very cold, firm, and depending on the color of the skin, turns white, yellowish-gray or gray.
Staying Safe Indoors and in Vehicles
Set up a three-foot "kid-free zone" around open fires and space heaters.
Remember to turn portable heaters off when leaving the room. Keep anything that can burn at least three feet away from heating equipment (furnaces, fireplaces, wood stoves and portable space heaters).
Test smoke alarms at least once per month.
Vent all fuel-burning equipment to the outside to avoid carbon monoxide (CO) poisoning.
Install carbon monoxide alarms - keep alarms at least 15 feet away from fuel-burning appliances.
Don't leave a vehicle running inside a garage. If you need to warm up your vehicle, remove it from the garage as soon as you start it to avoid the risk of CO poisoning.
Cold weather does not cause colds or flu. However, viruses that cause a cold and the flue are more common in the winter when children spend more time indoors.
Keeping everyone's hands clean is one of the most important ways to avoid getting sick and spreading germs to others. Wash hands with soap and clean running water, and rub them together for at least 20 seconds.
Teach children to cough or sneeze into their upper sleeve or elbow, not their hands - adults should model this behavior.