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Aspire Magazine: Have Fun with your Kids this Winter

Winter can be long in Wisconsin and Michigan, but it can also be fun and a great season to enjoy with your family. Aspirus pediatrician Susan Frangiskakis, MD, reminds parents to “get active, move and go outside. Enjoy this time with your children and set a great example showing a positive attitude about snow.” Many local communities offer free winter sports for children and families like ice skating, curling and programs for children to learn to ski. Winter weather offers plenty of outdoor fun. Here are five tips to help keep your little snow bunnies safe:

SET LIMITS. Set a time limit for how long they can play outside especially
when the wind chill factor or temperature is below −15.

BUNDLE UP. Kids should wear one more layer than you would. Thin fabrics
are best for layering underneath warm coats, boots, gloves and hats.

DON’T NEGLECT SUNSCREEN. Protecting exposed skin from harmful rays
is just as important in winter as in summer. The reflection of the sun’s rays off of
snow can actually make rays more powerful.

DO WINTER SPORTS RIGHT. Skiing, snowboarding, skating and sledding
are activities children should never do alone. They should also wear a helmet
to prevent head injuries. Don’t let kids sled around cars or into the road, and
instruct them to slide feet-first.

CHECK FOR SIGNS OF FROSTBITE. Fingers, toes, ears and noses are
particularly vulnerable to frostbite. Frostbitten skin may turn white or pale gray
and form blisters. If your child shows signs of frostbite, have him or her come
inside to gently warm up. Don’t rub the affected skin, and don’t pop any blisters.

If you have questions about health tips for your children in the winter, talk to your child's primary care provider.