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Outdoors Safety with Toddlers During Cold Weather

Playing outside during colder weather can be lots of fun, as long as you ensure your toddler is protected.

When is it too cold for your child to go outside and play? Boy Town Pediatrics suggests the following colored safety zone guide.

Green zone

The safest temperature to go outside to play is 30°F (-1°C) or higher.

Yellow zone

Playing in temperatures between 20°F to 30 °F (-6°C to -1°C) should be carefully watched by parents as the weather will affect body temperatures to cool quickly.

Red zone

Your child should not play outside in temperatures less than 20°F (-6°C). Keep in mind the wind chill factor can cause the actual temperature outside to be much colder, especially if skin is not properly covered.


Here are the some tips for winter fun.

  • Dress in layers. Hats, mittens, scarves, socks, boots and a coat or snowsuit depending on the activity and exposure. some layers may be taken off when your child become sweaty.

  • Provide warm, water resistant, slip proof footwear.

  • Avoid scarves or mittens attached to a long string - these pose a strangulation hazard. 

  • Choose a warm hat that fits well and has no ties.

  • Make sure your toddler is able to warm up every 30 minutes or so.

  • Be sure to always supervise children playing

  • Be sure your child is hydrating with water in order to help regulate body temperature.



If your toddler is out in very cold weather for any length of time, watch for signs of frostbite or skin injury from cold. Look for whiteness and numbness on the cheeks, nose, ears, fingers, and toes. If you think your toddler has frostbite:

  1. Bring your child indoors immediately.

  2. Remove wet clothing. Wet clothes take heat away from the body.

  3. Immerse the frostbitten body part in warm water until feeling has returned. Make sure you test the temperature of the water yourself, because your toddler will not be able to feel heat or cold. Your toddler may cry from the stinging that takes place as feeling returns to the affected area.


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