As a mom, a happy and healthy family is always a top priority. In the summer, this means staying hydrated, keeping an eye on the kids in the pool, and reapplying generous amounts of sunscreen (all five kiddies have unfortunately acquired my Swedish skin.) And the winter brings with it its own set of health and safety hazards. We’ve been fortunate enough to have had a warmer than usual December in the city, but temperatures are quickly dropping and the biting frost of January will soon be upon us, and most of the country, too. Read below for my winter safety tips!
Tips for Staying Safe in the Winter
- Stay warm: This is definitely easier said than done, especially when it comes to the brutal NYC wind. So, to keep your young children and toddlers as warm as possible, think about layering with cotton which is both comfortable and breathable. That way, your kids won’t overheat when sitting in heated buildings. For winter coats, I would recommend a wind- and water-proof coat with a hood, to keep it versatile. Fleece hats with flaps are great for protecting their ears, and when my kids were young, I loved mittens because they are a LOT easier to put on than fiddling with fingered gloves. For more tips, especially on dressing a young baby for the cold, click through here for my video!
- Cover the cough – When I think of winter with five kids, I think about germs and how to stay healthy. And every time my kids get sick, I have to remind them constantly to cover their cough, either with their sleeve or their elbow, not their hands! I can also get pretty picky when it comes to keeping their hands clean, so I keep an eye on them to make sure they’ve washed their hands with warm or hot water for at least 20 seconds, or enough to sing “Twinkle Twinkle.”
- Stay safe on the roads – Mix less-than-ideal driving conditions with millions on the road, and you have a recipe for iffy traveling in the winter. Stay as safe as possible by ensuring your children are safely buckled in. And if you’re using an infant or child car seat, check to see it’s installed properly and appropriate for your child’s height and weight. Click here for my tips on installing an infant car seat! PS Moms and dads – it’s never OK to drink and drive – call a cab or a DD. It’s not worth the risk to your family!
- Get out and get active – As much as I hate the cold, I’ve found this to be one of the best winter health tips. I try to get outside with the family as often as possible (bundled up, of course!) It’s a great way to get the blood pumping and your immune system up to speed. Staying active can keep your mind off the bitter cold, too. Personally, I enjoy taking brisk walks with the kids around the park or finding a workout buddy for a fitness class at our local gym!
- Everything in moderation – It can be tempting to overeat at the holiday parties and work functions this time of year. I try to cook at home as much as possible during the winter and using a variety of balanced foods that are in season, like squash, grapefruit, and leafy greens like kale. Well, the kids still don’t really like kale, but it’s something we’re working on! And when it comes to sweets around the holidays, I try balancing the sugary sweets with healthier options like fruits and nuts to avoid overeating.
Wishing you and your family a very happy and healthy start to the new year! Got any more useful tips on winter safety and health for the family? Comment below, I’d love to hear from you!