What is a Safe temperature for children to play outside?

At such a tender age, our kids’ immunity has not fully developed yet.

And it is upon us as parents to ensure that they are safe from any threats. It is because they cannot make rational decisions on their own, like determining a safe temperature for children to play outside.

Children should get a minimum of 60 minutes of physical activity, thus temperatures that are below 90 degrees Fahrenheit are perfect for kids to play. During winter avoid temperatures below 15 degrees Fahrenheit as this could cause frost bite.

One of the factors that can endanger the health of an infant is the temperature outside.

You need to figure out the ideal temperature that is not too hot or cold. It would be best if you took extra caution during the winter and cold seasons.

As a new parent we tend to get overwhelmed with a list of things, from how many baby clothes to buy, safe areas for your baby to play, to even the simple thing as how to properly burp a newborn.

Therefore, not knowing how to determine the optimal temperature for kids while they are playing is no new challenge. Worry no more; this article provides insight into the safe temperature for children to play outside.

Temperature guidelines for outdoor play

Knowing the importance of physical activities and playtime are to a child’s growth, you probably advocate for it. You might, however, find yourself in a convicting scenario, especially during the winter season.

Following that, you may debate on whether to let your child go out and play or not.

The best thing to do here is to reduce playtime. Before letting the child go out, you should also make sure they are warm enough.

According to the American council of exercise, children should get a minimum of 60 minutes of physical activity daily. If this is the case, you can divide it into three sessions, each taking 20 minutes.

However, this is not enough to allow your kid to play outside.

Due to the temperature variation, you need to be sure that the weather outside is not extremely cold before stepping out. Luckily, there is a standard temperature guideline for outdoor play.

The guide is grouped into coloured zones depending on how cold it is.

The first group is the green zone, a temperature higher than 30°c and is the safest temperature for kids. The next category is the yellow zone which is characterized by temperatures between 20°c and 30°c.

At this zone, you can let your child play but under close supervision.

Also, it would be best to employ reduced playtime at this zone since the weather can easily affect the body temperature. The last region is the red zone, where the temperature is below 20°c.

Just as the name suggests, it is dangerous for a child to be outdoors in this zone.

Therefore, they should stay indoors and do other fun activities.

If you ever find yourself in a dilemma about whether it is too cold for a toddler to play outside, you need to refer to the above temperature guidelines.

How to keep the kids warm

Based on the above guidelines, it is still okay for children to play while the weather outside is in the yellow zone.

But that is not all; you need to ensure that they are warm enough to be outside. The ideal way to warm them up is by properly layering kids clothes. It is best if your kids have more layers of clothing than yours.

You will need at least three layers for wicking, warming, and weathering.

The wicking layer is supposed to keep sweat off the skin. Is it necessary? Yes, it helps reduce hypothermia, a medical condition where the skin losses more heat than the body can generate.

Socks may fall under this category.

Polyester or wool material is used to make the clothes in this layer. The second layer is the warming layer which is vital on how warm your kid will be. The attires used should be made from wool.

Lastly is the weathering layer, some layering basics should help. It works similarly to the wicking layer.

But in this case, it acts as a waterproof barrier to the snowdrops. Also, it would be best if you did not forget about the hats, gloves, and neck warmers.

During playtime, you need to be close to supervise and watch any signs of getting a cold.

It would help if you opted to go indoors before the cold becomes extreme. It may also be good to carry extra clothes to add to the layering when you experience a slight temperature change.

The extra clothes can also come in handy if your child gets wet.

Putting on wet clothes is another risk factor for being diagnosed with hypothermia, leading to death if it gets severe. On the contrary, if your child starts sweating a lot, you can take off some layers.

Hydration is also essential even in this weather.

It would help if you took regular breaks to give them some warm water to hydrate and regulate the body to the temperature outside.

Cold weather guidelines

In the worst-case scenario, where your child is exposed to cold, they may suffer from frostbite, mild cold injury, or hypothermia.

Frostbite is usually a result of freezing the skin’s underlying layers, while hypothermia results from losing too much heat.

Both conditions can turn disastrous if not handled on time. You should watch out for any signs of these conditions and seek appropriate action.

For mild cold injury, it is identified by shivering and numbness of the hands and feet.

If it is frostbite, the skin will turn colour to white, and there may be a feeling of numbness. On the other hand, hypothermia is characterized by slurred speech, fatigue, shivering, and confusion.

Treatment for cold injuries

If your child has any of the symptoms mentioned above, you need to get them to a warm environment.

You should then remove any wet clothing and cover them with warm clothing. You can also opt to use warm water on the affected areas to ease numbness.

It would be best if you only did it after getting the child out of the cold. Alternatively, warm drinks such as hot cacao might also be helpful to raise the body temperature.

It is delicate for body tissues to experience cold injuries, and therefore, you are cautioned against rubbing the affected area.

It will cause bruising of the body part and expose it to chillier temperatures.

You should not use hot water as it also causes burns. For severe hypothermia, you need to consider emergency medical services as experts can handle it best.

Final thoughts; what is a safe temperature for children to play outside?

Even during the winter season, you need to find a way of taking your kid outside.

Physical activities are critical for child development. You, however, need to be cautious when opting for outdoor play. This is by using the temperature outside guidelines above for reference.  

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