By: J Gardener
Remember how your parents always seemed old to you, even before they reached middle age? They could never relate to you, they could never remember what it was like to be a kid. Now, you’re an adult with children, but you’ve made a pact with yourself-no matter how old you get, you’re always going to think “young”. You’ll always be able to relate to your kids. Right?
Here’s a quick test of your resolve:
The weatherman just predicted freezing temperatures and heavy snow-what’s your reaction? You groaned, didn’t you? Your first thoughts were about hazardous driving conditions, shoveling snow, high heating bills, and whether or not you remembered to insulate your water pipes. Yup. You’re officially a grown-up.
Now, look at your kids’ reactions. Sheer joy, at the possibility of a snow day, filled with sledding, snowmen, and snowball fights. You remember what that was like, but you can’t really relate, any more, can you? You’re thinking about the potential hazards they face-frostbite, injuries, and pneumonia.You groan, again-it’s gonna be a long week.
Look, you can’t change the direction of that storm front. You’re going to be socked in. You might as well accept it and make the most of it-and remember that big snow is big fun for kids. If you’re really going to think “young”, now’s the real test.
There are definite and real hazards to very cold weather, and to spending too much time in the snow. But you can prepare yourself and your kids for the outside conditions, by following a few simple guidelines.
First of all, before venturing out, feed your kids a meal or a snack. The extra calories will generate extra body heat. Dress everyone in several layers of clothing, starting with long underwear, adding turtlenecks and sweaters, then coats. Avoid cotton clothing-it doesn’t warm well and it absorbs moisture. Synthetics such as Gore-Tex can actually whisk moisture away from skin. Everyone should wear mittens-they keep hands warmer than gloves-and take an extra pair, in case snow works in, underneath, freezing small hands. Of course, warm socks, boots, and hats are essential in the snow. And something many people forget-if the sun is out, wear sunscreen. Snow can reflect 85% of the sun’s UV rays, causing quick sunburns. If the snow is wet, a final, waterproof layer of clothes, even rain-gear, is recommended.
If sledding is on the agenda (and if there’s a hill in sight, it definitely is), make sure that it’s done on a slope with no hazards. One slip of the rudder can send a sled into a tree. Have your kids wear their bicycle helmets while sledding-head injuries are the most common result of sledding accidents.
But you can have lots of fun with your kids in the snow. It really is fun to build and clothe a snowman, and a snowball fight (play clean-no rocks), is great exercise, especially for you. As long as your kids are dressed properly, there’s no set time-limit for being out. When you get cold, it’s time to come in. If you top the day off with some hot chocolate, you might even remember what it was like to be a kid. You might even really feel young, again.
J Gardener, a writer for Imaginary Greetings, Inc., is an award winning screenplay copywriter and a regular contributing author on many family oriented issues. For additional tips on how to truly light up your child’s eyes this holiday season like never before visit www.greetingsfromsanta.com.
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