Winter Tips for Parents – by Eliut Morales

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Winter isn’t officially here yet, but it sure feels like it is. With cold weather coming in fast, it feels like a great time to give parents some tips on how to keep their families healthy. Hypothermia and frostbite quickly become serious if taken lightly. You’re probably thinking, “I know how to take care of my children,” but a few helpful tips are always good reminders!

Winter means snow, and snow means playing outside, at least for your kids. While you’re out shoveling your driveway and getting snow off your car, your little ones will most likely be enjoying the snow more than you. It’s important to dress them and yourself appropriately if you plan on being outside for a while. Winter coats, hats, gloves, scarves, and boots are essentials that everyone should wear out in the snow. Gloves especially are a must if you plan on touching snow.

Not wearing proper clothing when it’s extremely cold may result in getting sick. Hypothermia happens when the body’s temperature gets much lower than normal when exposed to very cold temperatures. According to the CDC, some signs of hypothermia are shivering, exhaustion, red and cold skin, and slurred speech. Frostbite takes effect more visibly on the ears, nose, and fingers. People with frostbite will experience numbness, redness, and even greying skin. If you or your children experience any of these signs, it’s time to go inside and call your doctor.

Even though hypothermia and frostbite are extreme illnesses that happen when you’re out in the cold for too long, you should always take measures to make sure your family is dressed properly when going outside. You can’t always be sure, however, and sometimes you or your kids will get sick. Always plan to keep a health clinic’s information readily available.

The Manassas Park Community Center has partnered up with the George Mason University Medical Campus and the Prince William Health District to bring a health clinic for anyone without health insurance! The health clinic is located behind the Community Center on 99 Tremont Street and is available on Tuesdays from 7:30am-3:00pm. Patients are seen on a first come, first serve basis. The clinic can only see a limited number of patients, so be sure to plan accordingly. If you have any questions, feel free to call 703-993-5880 for more information.

Winter is almost here, so be prepared and be safe!

Eliut Morales is the Writer/Content Specialist for the City of Manassas Park, Department of Parks and Recreation. He can be reached at 703-335-8872 or via email at e.morales@manassasparkva.gov.

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