Winter Health and Safety Tips

Preventing Colds and Flu
Cold weather does not cause colds or flu. But the viruses that cause colds or flu tend to be more common in winter, when children are in school and are in closer contact with each other.

The most important way to prevent flu is to get your child vaccinated against the viruses that cause the flu. We still have injectable Fluzone and FluMist for babies and older children. Call us as soon as possible to have your child vaccinated.

Other ways to prevent the spread of colds and flu:

  • Keep sick children home from day care or school to control the spread of colds or flu.
  • Frequent hand washing and teaching your child to sneeze or cough away from others may help reduce the risk of colds and flu.
  • Teach children to use tissues (or their sleeves) to cover their mouths when they cough or sneeze. Make sure tissues are disposed of properly.
  • Children or teenagers with the flu should get plenty of rest, drink lots of liquids, and take medicines that contain no aspirin.

Dressing for Winter Weather

  • Dress children appropriately; pay particular attention to their faces, ears, noses, hands, and feet. Layered clothing keeps the body warmer and has the added benefit of allowing quick adjustments to the temperature-too warm, remove a layer.
  • If children are skiing or sledding, make sure they wear protective headgear in the form of an approved helmet. If conditions are icy, stay in and keep your children inside-ice is nearly impossible to navigate.
  • Children can easily succumb to frostbite, so during cold weather, make sure that your child's clothing, shoes, boots, and gloves stay dry.

Winter Sports Safety

  • Most winter sports injuries involve twists, sprains, and strains.
  • Most injuries can be avoided during skiing and skating by getting children good instructors, proper equipment, and appropriate supervision.

Winter Bus Stop Safety
Please share these important safety reminders with your children and teens:

  • Allow extra time to get to the bus stop.
  • Wear bright clothing so you can be seen by bus driver in the early morning and late evening.
  • Stand away from where the bus stops. Buses need extra room to stop when there is snow and ice.
  • Dress appropriately. Winter clothing, hats, and boots are needed to keep warm and dry.
  • Don't play in the snow while waiting for the bus. Don't throw snowballs at the bus or anyone else.
  • Don't slide on the snow or ice patches in driveways or on the street. You could slide under the wheel of the bus and get hurt.
  • Don't push or shove around the bus. Someone could fall down on the ice and get hurt.
  • Hands should be kept to yourself at all times while riding on the bus. Fighting and picking on others creates a dangerous bus ride.

Contact Us

Smita Parikh Mengers, MD, FAAP

19803 Executive Park Cr. Germantown, MD 20874-2649