With the colder weather quickly approaching, we as parents want our kiddos to be all snuggly and warm though the icky cold weather. Sometimes though, we lose sight of safety in turn trying to accomplish that. Here are some suggestions to avoid that:
Often times we don’t want to run our heat at nearly 75º. Although we’d all love it to be that toasty, the bank account might argue when that gas bill comes along. Things such as fireplaces make great heat providers in the winter time. If your fireplace sits flush with the floor make sure it is securely blocked off so little ones can not play or get toys into it. If your fireplace sits on a step of some kind make sure to take the precautionary measure for that type of fireplace. Even if your kiddos have never really taken interest in your fireplace before, once there is something nice and warm glowing in it, you’ll never know what could entice little hands to explore. Chance are if you have kids and a fireplace you’ve taken care of these things already however keep in mind things like last year when Johnny couldn’t throw the height of your protective gate might not have been such a concern. Now that Johnny loves to throw footballs you might want to reconsider your baby-proofing options. Baby-proofing should always be revisited every year to accommodate growing and changing kids! Space heaters are often a cheap fix for a cooler room. Although they have greatly improved over the years as far as safety features, they can still be dangerous. Make sure you do your research and find a heater that comes with an automatic shut off when tipped. Always keep heaters in a safe place out of the reach of children. Toddlers are smart and curious, even something you might think is safe, might not be. Always keep in mind, KIDS LOVE FIRE. It’s fun watching it, it’s warm, which is inviting, it’s pretty and it’s even more exciting when you throw stuff in it and it roars up. Another simple fix is layer on the blankets. Seems simple enough for your older kids, but for the younger ones it might not be the best option. Often times in the early stages parents think it’s okay to just layer kiddos up but this can lead to suffocation or over heating which if nothing else would lead to a very fussy kiddo! Things like Halo Sleep Sacs are designed to fix situations like this for younger kids. They are safe so kids can have extra layers but won’t be in danger of suffocation.
In the car:
Cold weather = winter jackets, right? WRONG! Big puffy jackets are EXTREMELY DANGEROUS when worn in a car seat. Let me explain. When you adjust the straps to accommodate the heavy, puffy winter jacket you are risking default in the case of an accident. Your child, believe it or not, CAN slip out of a jacket and there for if the straps are not adjusted properly then your child CAN slip through the straps. So then the response is, how do you make it so your kids don’t freeze while in the car? or walking into the store? or walking to the car? Simple. Wear a jacket! When you get to the car, unzip the jacket long enough to thread the straps over the child then you can re-zip the jacket if wanted. You could also take the jacket off completely, buckle the child in the seat then flip the jacket so it’s backwards. Still provide warmth yet provides safety at the same time. Yup, it might seem like a pain, yup it’s once extra step, but it could save your child’s life. You can also purchase a poncho to use in the car seat. Most often these are fleece lined and have hoods to provide extra amounts of warmth. When your child is wearing a poncho you can simply lift the poncho to put them into the seat, strap as normal and then lay the poncho back down for warmth. Not all jackets are unsafe in car seats but on the average most winter jackets are not safe. They are too over sized to protect in an accident. Light jackets or sweatshirts often act fine in replacement for a jacket and then the above suggestions are a great option NEVER, EVER, EVER, EVER leave your kid in a running car! This is extremely dangerous and asking for your car to be stolen along with your children inside! A little bit of cold never hurt anyone, bring your kids into the store or wherever. Yes, we’re back to the it’s a pain, it’s one extra step, it’s hard.. SO WHAT. How would you feel if you came back to your nice and warm car with your kids soundly in their car seats to find NOTHING! As a parent I don’t wish that upon anyone. Be smart. Bundle your kids in the proper winter clothing if you’re going to be out. With the changing weather conditions always make sure you have your children properly dressed. If you end up in a ditch or worse yet an accident you’ll want to make sure your kids are warm enough until help can arrive, which often times isn’t immediately.
…and as always, popcorn and warm hot chocolate are good cold day fixers!… 🙂