Winter Safety Tips for Children and Older Adults

Whether or not there’s snow on the ground, winter weather can present special challenges, especially for children and senior citizens. In this blog post we’ll share some tips for keeping everyone safe in colder weather.

Weather-Appropriate Clothing

011909_0728Be sure to dress for the weather. Several thin layers will help everyone stay dry and warm; layers can be removed or added as needed. Warm socks, boots, gloves/mittens, and a hat will also help both children and adults retain body heat. Invest in a quality coat that fits well.

For small children, remove any drawstrings that could get caught on a tree branch or playground equipment and replace it with Velcro. Keep loose bedding such as blankets, pillows, and bumpers out of an infant’s sleeping environment to help prevent suffocation deaths. Instead, use sleep clothing such as one-piece sleepers or wearable blankets.

Prevent Hypothermia

Hypothermia occurs when an individual’s body temperature falls below normal during exposure to cold temperatures. It can happen when a child is playing outdoors in very cold weather or when clothes get wet. It occurs more quickly in children than in adults, but older Americans are also quite susceptible.

If the temperature drops, children or senior citizens should not be outside any longer than necessary. If clothing gets wet, individuals should come indoors to dry off, warm up, and change into warm dry clothing.

Shivering, lethargy, and clumsiness can be early signs of hypothermia. If you suspect hypothermia, call 911. Take the individual indoors, remove any wet clothing, and wrap the person in blankets or warm clothing.

Avoid Frostbite

Frostbite occurs when the skin and outer tissues become frozen. It tends to happen on fingers, toes, ears, and noses. The skin will become red and tingly, then grey and painful, and finally white, cold, and hard without pain. Blistering will occur after the skin thaws. Because exposed skin begins to freeze within minutes, it’s very important to dress for the weather and avoid being outdoors in temperatures or wind chills below -15 degrees Fahrenheit.

Common Winter Ailments

Many individuals suffer from winter nosebleeds. You can try using a cold air humidifier at night to prevent these. If the bleeding is severe or occurs often, consult with a medical professional.

The influenza vaccine can help reduce risk of catching the flu for older Americans as well as children six months of age and up. Be sure that loved ones implement proper hygiene practices to help prevent contracting colds or the flu.

Bathing frequently in the winter can cause dry skin. It may be best to cut bathing down to two to three times per week.

Stay warm and safe this winter!

If you or a loved one has been injured, contact the Schuerman Law office today. Schuerman Law has been working with personal injury claims for over 40 years. John Schuerman will compassionately advocate for injured individuals as well as their families while fighting for full compensation of their claims. Schuerman Law offers evening and weekend appointments in addition to home and hospital visits. Schedule a free consultation today by calling 1-800-274-0045.