Winter Play: Health & Safety Reminders

January 6, 2022

As temperatures continue to drop and winter sets in, families and early childhood education programs are taking the initiative to ensure that the health and safety of their children are top of mind.

Playing outside during the winter is beneficial for a child’s development, helping build strong immune systems with much needed exercise.

This winter, thread encourages everyone to help make winter outdoor safety a priority by reviewing the below tips and precautions.


  • It gets dark early! Make sure you can be seen by wearing reflective gear, or a headlamp, and carry a flashlight.
  • If your child is engaging in winter sports, such as skiing, sledding, or ice skating, make sure that they are always wearing a helmet for protection. A child’s helmet should be snug and sit just above the eyebrows. Learn more here.
  • Outdoor clothing should be layered. Active play will assist in keeping children warm while outside. Click here to learn more.
  • Monitor the weather regularly. 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. Learn more here.

Health Reminders

  • COVID-19, influenza (flu), colds, and other similar illnesses are caused by viruses, not exposure to cold air. Learn more about the similarities and differences between flu and COVID here
  • Multiple studies have demonstrated that children who spend more time outdoors have stronger immune systems. While viruses are prevalent during the winter, they are more concentrated indoors where people are gathered together. Read more.

Winter Emergency Plans

By planning in advance, you will be more prepared for these cold winter months and the upcoming holiday season.

For additional resources on winter weather and extreme cold, refer to the articles from Child Care Aware® of America and the Institute of Child Nutrition.