Safe Outdoor Temperatures for Kids

Safe Outdoor Temperatures for Kids

The winter season is a wonderful time of year for kids. Snow is a wonderful medium for art, sculpture, building and play of all types. However, there are some issues that parents need to keep in mind when sending little ones out for some winter fun and adventure.

Ideal Temperatures

As a good general rule most children can tolerate winter temperatures of 30 degrees Fahrenheit and higher provided there is not a significant wind. Kids do need to be dressed in warm, appropriate clothing.

Wind is a big issue in deciding if the temperature is too cold or exactly right for outdoor play. If kids are playing in an area out of the wind this is the best possible option. When listening to the weather or when getting information from an app or website be sure to look for the temperature with the wind chill calculation.

Any temperature less than 20 degrees Fahrenheit is too cold for most children to be outside, even in sheltered areas, for any extended amount of time. Anything below zero may cause frostbite and children should not be outdoors in these conditions.

Clothing Tips

Dressing little ones in layers with moisture wicking socks, t-shirts and leggings is a great option to help them stay warm outside. Moisture wicking fabrics move body sweat away from the skin and prevents cooling that happens if you are wet or sweaty and outside in the cold.

Over this layer consider cotton and wool materials that will provide warmth and then a layer outside that is water-resistant or waterproof. Nylon and other water-resistant materials are a perfect outer layer and will help prevent melting snow from turning their warm clothing into a soak wet and cold garment. They also help to break the wind chill and keep the body heat in.

Always bring extra mitts, socks, scarves, hats and sweaters for kids to change into if they become damp. Wearing a hat is essential in the cold months as this helps to reduce heat loss and assists in regulating the body temperature.

Watch for signs that the children are getting cold, wet, or uncomfortable and make sure they come inside for a break when needed.