By MOMWISE LATUNDE ONABAJO

As we approach the festive season of Thanksgiving and Christmas, I am quite excited about the turkey, the gifts and the cold…well not exactly excited about the cold season. And speaking of the cold, my daughters can’t stop talking about making snow angels in the snow. I love how they already have plans that involves rolling in pure ice without a worry about the consequences thereafter…Children!

The winter/cold season can be especially brutal on children if they are not properly protected. So, as we approach the coming cold months, MomWise will like to encourage moms of newborns and young children with these safety tips during the cold months:

Layer up: I’ve always followed the rule of layering my children with one more layer than I would wear. So, a short sleeve tee, a long sleeve top then a sweater/jacket that can be removed if they get too hot indoors. Then their winter jacket. Hats, mittens or gloves are also a must.

Keep them hydrated: Dehydration is very possible even in the winter months where the air tends to be drier which can lead to nosebleeds. And speaking of nosebleeds, using a humidifier in the room can reduce dry air to keep some moisture in their room.

Watch for danger signs: Frostbites can happen quickly in children if not properly covered up. Signs of frostbite include pale, or grey blistered skin on the nose, ears, fingers, and toes.

Offer warm drinks: Drinks like hot chocolate or warm milk should be offered with meals or as needed.

Baby Vicks/Vapor Rub: I’m a lover of baby/vicks vapor rub, especially the Lavender scented brand. Apply a small amount on the chest before bed. It works like a miracle.

Space Heaters: It is not my personal favorites in a child’s room but if it must be used, please keep away from a child’s reach. Besides, it often dries out the air which can lead to nosebleed or extreme dryness.

Children are especially susceptible to hypothermia (low temperature) and signs of it include, shivering, slurred speech or mumbling, weak pulse, drowsiness, confusion or memory loss, shallow breathing. If you think your child has hypothermia, please call 9-1-1 immediately.

Parents—especially moms are not exempted from these tips too. We are often occupied with keeping our children safe in the winter months that we might forget our health. The winter season is a great time to complete our annual health check-ups. I once heard that “winter is when we create the body we want in the summer.” Apostle Paul was onto something when he stated: “bodily exercise has some benefits… (1 Timothy 4:8).” Health and wellness goes hand in hand.

As moms, I encourage us to visit our primary care doctor for health screenings including: heart health, breast health, mental health, gynecological health, etc. If you don’t have a primary care doctor/health insurance, there are community clinics that offer some form of free health screenings. Check your State or County website for information or phone numbers to reach the local health clinics.

Let’s have a great rest of the year 2018. Let’s enjoy the cold in our faces, let’s sip warm chocolate by the fire side as we watch endless episodes of our favorite shows. Whatever the case, have a blessed Thanksgiving and Christmas Season.

Shalom.