What is winter skin?
- Dry, cracked, irritated skin due to the extremes in temperature—very cold outside and warm and dry inside.
Parents can protect their children’s skin by:
- Moisturizing the skin. Dermatologists tend to recommend the ointment type, which is rather greasy. But, putting this on before bed presents less of a problem. Always apply after bathing, within three minutes of getting out of the water, to retain moisture within three minutes of getting out of the water (The “three minute rule”).
- Staying hydrated—eating water-rich foods like fruits and veggies, and also drinking water, helps with winter dryness.
- Using humidifiers—especially in the bedroom.
Kids often get sick in the winter—is there anything to prevent that?
- Remind children to not touch their eyes, nose and mouth!
- Hand washing is huge. When not able to wash with soap and water, use alcohol-based hand sanitizers with moisturizers (to reduce dry skin).
- Also, teach children to cough and sneeze “into their sleeve” and use tissues, of course!
- Avoid going to people’s homes where there is illness—especially those little babies less than two months old.
- Keep good routines that encourage a slow and relaxed mealtime and a nighttime ritual that encourages a good night’s sleep.
- Exercise and fresh air are actually good for you! Get outside and play safely!
So, you want to go outside to play, but what should you be cautious about?
Ice is no joke—lots of times you can’t even see it. Black ice, for instance. Take these precautions:
- Don’t carry a baby in your arms. Instead, use the car seat. In case you fall, there is some protection for your child.
- Let children who can walk do so rather than be carried. It’s safer.
- Teach them and yourself to use little steps when walking on ice.
Sledding is fun but needs to be done safely.
- The biggest things about sled riding are the obstacles and the end of the run. Parents should check out any problems before letting kids sled down a hill.
- Never pull kids on sleds behind any kind of vehicle.
- Make sure that children wear proper attire and continue to stay hydrated as they play. It’s easy to forget that you still need to drink water when playing in cold weather.