**With cold weather on its way, check out these tips for keeping kids warm this winter from #TeamSierra blogger, Melissa Edge.**
Winter is fast approaching and in some places winter has already arrived. I hear Alaska already has frigid temperatures and snow has fallen in places like Salt Lake City and Denver. Before we all know it the ground will be blanketed with inches of snow and our tykes will be begging for snow ball fights, snow angels, sledding fun and building that almighty snowman.
Now is the time to get your tyke ready for some winter fun. Mostly likely what they wore last year is going to be too small, considering they grow like weeds, so it's a good time to take inventory on sizing and needs.
Here are some tips on how to keep your tykes comfortable and warm during outdoor play.
Layering is key to keeping your tykes comfortable, warm and dry. It is important for your tykes to be able to regulate their body temperature and not overheat or get too cold.
You want to start with a base layer. This layer is going to be touching the skin. You want it to be soft, non-itchy, breathable and wick away moisture. Anything that allows moisture to rest on your tykes skin will leave them wet, cold and uncomfortable. Synthetic clothing (polyester blends, microfiber, coolmax, dri-fit) or merino wool are good choices. NEVER use cotton. Cotton is breathable but it does not wick moisture away. It will just stay wet and it takes a long time to dry.
The second layer is the mid-layer or insulating layer that provides warmth. This layer can consist of wool, fleece, down or synthetics. Cotton is NOT recommended for this layer, either.
The third layer is the shell layer. This layer protects your tyke from wind, rain and snow. Ideally, you want it to be breathable, allowing perspiration to evaporate. You also, want it to be wind and waterproof or at least water-resistant. This layer does not have to be big and bulky. Make sure it fits comfortably over your tykes other layers allowing for adequate movement and playing room. This protective layer can range from a thin raincoat to an insulated protective jacket depending on the conditions.
Make sure your tyke's head is covered with a synthetic or merino wool hat and be sure the hat completely covers their ears. This will help keep them warm. Although most heat is not lost through the head (an old wives tale), some heat can be lost if their head is not covered up.
The NO cotton rule applies to socks. Cotton socks will not keep your tykes feet warm. Provide them with wool or moisture wicking socks. Their winter boots definitely need to be waterproof. If your tykes feet end up getting wet, cold playtime is over. They will be uncomfortable and nobody likes frozen toes.
Gloves or Mittens
If you want your tyke to have fun throwing snow balls, building a snowman or making an awesome snow fort make sure they have suitable hand protection. Not all gloves and mittens are created equal. Mittens will tend to keep hands warmer since the fingers are close together but they limit functionality. Gloves or mittens need to be waterproof and have good insulation. If your tykes hands get cold, just like their feet, they will be uncomfortable and more than likely grumpy.
Sunglasses are just as important during winter months as they are during summer months. The sun reflecting off the snow can be very damaging to your tyke's eyes. If they don't already have sunglasses make sure you get them an appropriate pair.
**Important — Wearing toy/fashion sunglasses can actually do more harm to your tyke's eyes than not wearing sunglasses at all. Shaded lenses without protection will relax pupils, causing them to dilate and let MORE harmful radiation into your tyke's eyes. It's crucial that your tyke's sunglasses have 100% UV-A/UV-B protection.
Providing appropriate clothing and a layering system for your tykes will help them be comfortable and warm, so they can have fun in any of the elements Old Man Winter throws their way.
-Melissa Edge lives in Moab, Utah, where she enjoys exploring the beautiful red rock landscape with her husband and son. She is the founder of Adventure Tykes and loves inspiring and motivating parents to get outside with their kids. Melissa is an avid runner, hiker and amateur chef. She also tweets.
Keep Tykes Warm This Winter With Proper Layering
By Melissa Edge
November 27, 2013
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