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How to Dress Your Child for Outdoor Winter Fun


By Sarah Parker Ward

We all know it’s important to dress kids in warm clothes when they go outside to play in cold weather, but exactly how to do it may not be as clear. Try this handy guide for layering-up your little one before they trudge out into the wintery-white beyond.

Dress your child in layers for cold weather

First, assess the activity your kid will be enjoying, and then check the weather to see just how bundled-up they need to be.

  • Wind Chill: The cold temperature matters, but consider the wind, too. Winds of just 10 miles per hour can make the temperature feel ten degrees colder and can wick heat away from your child’s body faster than the thermometer would have you think.
  • Duration: Is your child going to be outside for ten minutes or two hours? If kids are going to be outside for a long time, you naturally want to be more cognizant of how many layers you provide.
  • Activity: What will your child be doing? If they’re going to be running around, they’ll be generating a lot of body heat that will help keep them warm. But if they’re going to be largely sedentary – sitting outside watching pond hockey, for instance – they’ll require thicker insulation. And remember that if they’re going to be playing in the snow, a waterproof outer layer is critical.

Once you know exactly what you’re preparing for, go through this quick checklist to help you and your kids make sure you get the actual gear itself right.

Dress your child for outdoors - layer 1

Layer 1: Start by insulating with a thin thermal layer like long johns. Don’t forget their toes – skip the standard cotton socks in favor of wool.

Dress your child for outdoors - layer 2

Layer 2: Keep them extra warm with a soft, thick insulating layer. Sweatshirts and fleece pants are great options that can also provide a bit of padding if your tot is prone to falling.

Dress your child for outdoors - layer 3

Layer 3: Finish up with a wind- and waterproof shell that will help retain their body heat, as well as a hat and gloves. Round out the outfit with waterproof boots that have a thick, gripping tread.

That’s all there really is to it: two ‘rules of three’ to keep you sane and your kids warm and healthy.


©Johnson & Johnson Consumer Inc. 2017

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