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Wind chills, snow, ice – welcome to winter in Nebraska! We would all like to stay inside by the heater on some frigid days, but school and work call. Whether waiting for the school bus, building a snow man or playing outdoors – you can practice a few important habits to keep kids well.

It is a great idea to plan ahead for the extreme cold. Children lose heat from their skin faster than an adult so they are more prone to frostbite and frostnip (a less severe form of frostbite). The extremities of the body are the most vulnerable – hands, feet, nose, ears – so covering them is essential. 

Wind chill is the temperature your body feels when the air temperature is combined with the wind speed. It can result in significantly colder temperatures than the thermometer reads. For example, an air temperature of 20 degrees Fahrenheit combined with 30 mile-per-hour winds results in a wind chill of 1 degree above zero! As you dress your kids to walk to school, wait for the bus or play outside, there are a few things that you should keep in mind to keep them warm and safe:

1. Dress in Layers

Choose naturally insulating fabrics like wool, silk or fleece.

2. Keep out the Cold

Knit cuffs, hats that cover the ears help keep the cold air away.

3. Mittens are Better

Mittens keep hands warmer than gloves – fingers are not separated.

4. One Layer More

If you are dressing a young child or infant for the cold, the rule of thumb is to dress the child in one more layer of clothing than an adult would wear in the same conditions. 

5. Stay Dry

When a child gets wet, clothing stops protecting him from the cold. Teach your child to dry mittens and socks and avoid long periods of time in the elements with any wet clothes.

Stephanie Neuhaus, MD

Methodist Physicians Clinic Hawthorne Court

Dr. Neuhaus answers your questions about child health and parenting. She enjoys being a pediatrician because it allows her the opportunity to help people every day. Dr. Neuhaus is always open and honest with her patients and she is excited to watch them as they learn and grow. She strives to build lasting relationships with her patients and their families. Dr. Neuhaus, a mother herself, believes in always listening to patients' moms. They know when something is wrong with their child and d ...

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