Tips to help get your kids through the winter – safely!

Written by: Dev Gowda

With this recent blast of icy cold weather, it’s hard to think of anything else besides staying warm! However, Kids in Danger (KID) is here to give you some simple tips to help keep your child both warm AND safe this winter season. 

  • Keep checking the CPSC.gov website for product recalls. The agency just did a roundup of recent cold weather product recalls, and while no children’s products were included, that doesn’t mean they won’t be later. A winter season product parents need to be especially mindful of is drawstrings which can be found on winter coats, jackets, and sweatshirts. These pose a strangulation hazard for children.  If you aren’t able to regularly check the site, simply sign up for recall alerts which will be delivered right to your inbox or KID’s monthly email alert. 
  • Although it is tempting to dress a baby in layers and use heavy blankets to keep them warm in the crib, it isn’t necessary or safe.  Don’t overwrap a baby or use thick blankets, use wearable blankets instead. Despite our tendency to think otherwise, babies don’t need more layers than us and blankets and other soft bedding pose a suffocation risk. Overheating has also been linked to SIDS. Make sure to follow other safe sleep practices here
  • For kids and babies, clothing such as heavy coats, thick sweaters, and snow suits create too much space between their body and the car seat harness.  The harness should be as close to a child’s body as possible; but coats can compress in a crash, creating slack in the harness.  A good idea is to walk to the car with coats on, warm the car up, and remove coats and then buckle up. Place a blanket around the child’s torso if it continues to be chilly in the car. This also applies to older children too, so make sure they take off their coats and model good behavior for the younger ones! 
If you follow these easy steps you can help keep your kids safe this winter season. Lastly, remember that even though it is cold outside, don’t sit inside and wait for spring. As long as the baby is well covered, it is perfectly safe for them to be out. 
 
Thanks for your commitment to safety. If you have any questions or concerns about child product related issues, or you would like to know how you can get more involved, please visit KidsInDanger.org or contact Laura at Laura@KidsInDanger.org.
Posted on February 04, 2013 at 3:02 PM