Alaska’s long, cold winter is back and families, as well as their early childhood education programs, are making preparations.
Keeping Alaska’s children safe and warm outside this winter is a top priority. Use the below safety tips and precautions from Child Care Aware of America to help with your winter play planning.
Outdoor Play in the Winter
- Taking children outdoors daily is safe as long as clothing is appropriate and layered. Active play will also keep children warmer while outside in the winter.
- The length of outdoor time may need to be reduced due to the cold, so it will be important to make sure children continue to participate in physical activities inside as well.
- Know which outdoor play equipment may not be safe in cold weather.
Winter Weather and COVID-19
- COVID-19, influenza (flu), colds, and other similar illnesses are caused by viruses, not exposure to cold air.
- Spending time outside in fresh air reduces the rebreathing of germs and the chances for spreading infection.
Winter Emergency Plans
- Double check written emergency plans and emergency supply kits to ensure they are up to date.
- Winter weather can lead to a power outage or the need to shelter-in-place if travel becomes dangerous.
- Make sure you know your winter weather plans, including closures (for programs).
- Remember that holiday decorations must be used safely.
- Any objects small enough to fit through a toilet paper tube can obstruct the airway of a child.
- Use power strips with built-in circuit breakers and avoid putting too many plugs into one electrical outlet.
- Closely supervise children who are helping to decorate.
By planning in advance, your home and program will be prepared to care for children during cold weather and the upcoming holiday season.
Child Care Aware® of America offers additional resources on winter weather and extreme cold here.