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Winter season opens up outdoor activities, such as sledding, skating, and snowboarding for families.But the cold weather, ice, and snow may also pose danger to your family, particularly children.In general, children should never play alone outside and must be accompanied at all times.
If your family plans to spend a vacation in a place with some outdoor activities, create a buddy system to ensure safety.Children ages eight or younger must be supervised by an adult when outside, and adult members should constantly check older children playing outdoors.Always check if they are dry and warm.Never allow any of your kids to go outside during extreme conditions, such as snowstorms, or if the temperature drops to -27 degrees Celsius.Under this temperature, any exposed skin will freeze.
You need to maintain your children's internal and external temperature during winter.Usually, if their hands and feet are warm, the clothes they're wearing is good.But if they feel warm or start to sweat, the clothes may be too much.
- Dress your children in layers of clothing that can be worn and taken off easily.
- Wear a headgear like a cap or a hat to prevent losing body heat on the head, and don't forget to cover their ears.
- Cover their hands with mittens so they can bunch them together for warmth.
- Wear footgear like waterproof boots with enough room for the socks and wiggling of toes.
- Use a neck warmer and mitten clips.These keep your children warm without choking them.
- For infants, apply extra bundling because they don't get warm like children do when playing.
- If any piece of clothing, headgear, or footgear becomes wet, remove them immediately to prevent hypothermia.
Winter Season Hazards
Activities like sledding, skating, and snowboarding may lead to accidents such as abdominal, head, and neck injuries.You can gear your children with helmets and goggles to ensure safety when playing ice hockey, snowboarding, or skiing.If any injuries occur, bring them immediately to the ER for immediate medical attention.Here are some potential hazards your children may encounter when playing outside during winter.
1.Hypothermia – It occurs when the body temperature drops below 35 degrees Celsius and may happen even indoors.Effects of hypothermia depend on how low the body temperature is and how fast it happened.
2.Fractures – When the temperature becomes colder, the ground becomes icy and slippery, and this can cause falling or slipping accidents.Fractures are the most common complications of these accidents.Treatment of fractures will depend on the severity of the injury and which part of the body is injured.
3.Frostbite – It is the most common in cold, windy, and freezing weather conditions.Frostbite happens when the extremities of our body, such as fingers and toes, are exposed to the cold temperature.
4.Burns – Since the temperature is low, people sometimes ignore the possibility of burns.Turning on an open fire may lead to minor or severe burns, and it is recommended to apply first aid or to go the ER if it happens to avoid infection.
5.Colds and influenza – Cases of colds and flu are common during winter.The common cold usually lasts a week but flu can manifest with severe symptoms.Bed rest and drinking plenty of fluids are advised for people with colds or flu.Photo By Pexels via Pixabay
Other Infections During Winter
Bronchiolitis is a common viral respiratory infection in children, particularly in kids less than 12 months old.It is caused by the human respiratory syncytial virus and manifests with symptoms such as nasal congestion, cough, fever, wheezing, breathing difficulty, and dehydration.
Laryngotracheobronchitis or simply croup is a respiratory infection caused by a virus.The infection leads to the inflammation of the insides of the trachea that interferes with normal breathing, barking cough, stridor, and hoarse voice.
Pneumonia is another common illness during winter and is often caused by bacteria.The illness causes inflammation of the alveoli, the air sacs in your lungs.If your child suffers cold for several days accompanied by a high fever and cough, seek medical attention for assessment and treatment.
Strep throat usually manifests with a sore throat, headache, and stomach ache.The condition does not present any cold-like symptoms or a cough, and it is treated with antibiotics.
Statistics on Winter Season Infections
- About three to five million cases of seasonal influenza are reported every year, according to the World Health Organization.
- Pneumonia is responsible for 16 percent of all deaths of children under five years old.The illness killed 920,136 children in 2015.
- Bronchiolitis is common in children between three to six months old.
- Croup accounts for an estimate of 15 percent of clinic and emergency department visits for pediatric respiratory tract infections per year.
- Strep throat is common among children 5 to 15 years of age but rare in children younger than 3 years of age, according to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention.