Winter can be a cruel and relentless season and is a time when, with the cold weather and dark nights, many parents worry about the safety of their child. Recent weather would suggest it’s still very much with us.
Whilst there are no ‘rules’ when it comes to how advocate maximum Winter health and safety for young children, there are various tips you can follow to help minimise the possibility of accidents and illnesses.
Dress young children in layers – Children love to run around outdoors and have a seemingly never ending store of energy. In cold weather you should dress your child in layers, including thermal vests, long johns, turtle necks, jumpers, coats, hats, scarves and gloves.
This way a child will be nice and warm outside but can take the layers off if he feels too hot. A general rule of thumb is that young children should wear one layer more than an adult would wear in cold weather.
Bedding – It may be tempting to throw goose-feather duvets and sheepskin blankets on your little one’s bed during the winter months to keep him warm during the night, but babies and young children cannot regulate their own body temperatures very well and excess, loose bedding can contribute to Sudden Death Syndrome.
It is generally advised that you dress a baby in a one-piece sleeper at night with one blanket that is firmly tucked in to the cot to avoid any loose bedding covering your child’s face.
Boost your child’s vitamin intake – Coughs, colds and the flu can affect us all during the winter, but particularly children who have less developed immune systems. Regular hand washing can help stave off germs and teaching your child to put their hand over their mouth when they cough and sneeze can help prevent the spread of germs and illnesses.
To help give their immune systems a boost during the winter make sure they get lots of vitamin C by eating plenty of oranges, satsumas and other foods that have high levels of vitamin C. It may also be sensible to give your child a vitamin supplement to chew during the winter.