Winter is here once again and that means making the necessary adjustments to the change in weather. With cold temperatures, ice, and snow, you might be focused on all of the summertime fun that is no longer possible, but your first priority should be protecting yourself and the children in your care during Winter so you can be outside when possible.
As the temperatures drop and we spend less time outdoors, there are a number of health concerns that can put you at risk. The following are a few simple tips to help you stay healthy during January.
Wear the Right Clothes
The first thing you need to do is make sure both you and the children have the right clothes for being outside in cold temperatures. This means getting out all of your winter gear. A warm coat is needed to keep you warm while you are outside. Along with a warm coat, everyone should have on gloves/mittens, and a winter hat. Also consider winter clothes that are waterproof such as snow pants and boots to protect you in the snow. Boots are important not only to keep your feet warm, but for traction. With snow on the ground and the potential for ice, all it takes is one slip to get injured.
It’s understandable you may want to stay in throughout winter, but it’s important to stay active. Regular exercise can be one important way to keep healthy. Of course, there is plenty you can do to stay fit without going outside, but there’s benefit to exercising outdoors during the winter. Every time you go outside, you’re getting more exposure to sunlight which means more vitamin D to help you maintain a healthy immune system. Did you know that cold weather outdoor play boosts the immune system? From the Pennsylvania Department of health, Click here to find out why cold weather outdoor play is not only for children, but adults too!
You should try to eat healthy all year round, but it is especially important in cold months like January. This is cold and flu season and your immune system needs to be in good shape to help you fight the illnesses that are common at this time of year. Try to eat a well-rounded diet with plenty of nutrients. You may even want to consider talking to your doctor about taking a multivitamin to supplement your diet.
Wash Your Hands
With more illnesses going around, regular hand washing is the best way to stay healthy during Winter. Wash your hands, at a minimum, before every meal and also when you come in from outdoors.
Winter might not be everyone’s favorite season, but there’s no reason you can’t enjoy it and make it through without getting sick or injured. By following the above-mentioned tips, you can do a lot to maintain your health this January.
Other Resources to Explore:
Remember the Child Care Weather Watch from The Iowa Department of Public Health, Healthy Child Care Iowa. This chart provides guidelines for safe temperature ranges and wind chill.
Looking for some outdoor fun, Winter ideas & activities? Explore these:
- From The Penn State Cooperative Extension, Outdoor Play on Winter Days
- From Active for Life, Outdoor winter activities for toddlers
- From Hi Mama, 4 Sensory Snow Activities to Try