Winter health and safety tips for kids
During the winter months, your kids are susceptible to colds, viruses, infections and the flu, but it's not just illnesses that can harm your children. Winter sports and the cold winter weather can do some damage too.
Follow these tips to keep your family as healthy as possible this winter.
Winter sports safety
Wintertime offers plenty of outdoor activities for kids including sledding, snowboarding, skiing, hockey and ice skating. And though these activities are a lot of fun, thousands of children suffer injuries playing winter sports each year.
Fortunately, many of these injuries can be prevented. According to SafeKids.org, 53 percent of head injuries suffered by kids while skiing and snowboarding can be prevented or reduced just by wearing a helmet.
The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that kids under age 16 don't drive snowmobiles and children under age 6 don't ride on them at all.
Also remember that even in cold weather, kids (and adults) need to drink plenty of fluids and wear sunscreen whenever outdoors.
Quick tip: If your child is wear a long scarf, make sure it's tucked in so it doesn't get caught on ski poles or other sports equipment.
Winter skin care
In addition to fluids to avoid dehydration and sunscreen to protect from sun damage, you should also make some changes to your child's skin care routine in the winter.
Consider changing your soap. Most traditional bar soaps strip the skin of moisture and oils. Look for milder soaps like castile or oatmeal-based soap. Avoid moisturizers and lotions with questionable ingredients, and try to find natural products to avoid irritation.
Consider coconut oil for skin. It's rich in antioxidants and vitamins. You don't need to use much to keep skin hydrated and healthy. Hot water can deplete skin of its protective oils, so reduce shower and bath times, and turn the temperature down a bit.
Read more about winter skin care for kids >>
Avoid winter illness
Though it's almost impossible to keep your kids healthy all year round, you can take some precautions to reduce the risk of colds, flu and other illnesses. Regular hand washing is one of the keys to keeping your kids healthy. Teach your kids to wash their hands the right way -- using warm water, soap and rubbing for at least 15 seconds. Stress to your children that they should never share drinks with other kids. A healthy balanced diet and plenty of sleep will also help build your child's immune system.