Your guide to dressing your kids for winter

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Winter can be exciting for your kids. They can play in the snow. Young children can get cold more quickly than adults. They should wear proper clothes when they are playing outside.

Dressing up based on the temperature:

  1. Not below -27°C
    • Check the weather before letting your kids go outside.
    • Manitoba winters can reach temperatures of -30°C (-22°F) or lower.
    • It is ok for them to play outside if the temperature or the windchill is not below -27°C.
    • Learn more about windchill hazards here: How long can I stay outside in extremely cold weather?
  2. Layering
    • Layering can keep kids warmer than one heavy outfit.
    • This means putting clothes on top of another.
    • Don’t use too many layers. Kids can overheat and sweat (this will make them feel colder).
    • Toddlers and children need one more layer of clothing than you do.
  3. For 0 to 10°C
    • Dress your child in pants, shirt, socks, coat, boots and mittens.
    • Mittens are better to use than gloves. It is warmer.
  4. Below 0°C
    • Children should wear thermal underwear.
    • They should wear a shirt, socks, pants, a sweater on top.
    • They should have a winter coat and ski pants or snowsuit.
    • They should also wear boots, mittens, a neck warmer and hat.
    • The boots should be waterproof. It should have space for an extra pair of socks. They should be able to wiggle their toes.
  5. Safe clothes
    • Check their clothing for strings. Scarves may choke them (especially babies).
    • Use mitten clips instead of strings to keep your kids from losing them.
    • Dress you child in bright colors so that drivers can see them clearly.


  1. This affects cheeks, fingers, toes, ears, and noses when they are not properly covered.
  2. The skin freezes and you see it red and swollen.
  3. Kids will feel stinging and burning.
  4. Frostbite is caused by cold wind, rain, or snow. The skin can turn, grey, pale and blistered when untreated.
  5. If your child feels numbness or pain on their hands, feet or elsewhere:
    • Get the child inside.
    • Warm the body part with your hands. But do not to rub the skin.
    • Use warm (not hot) washcloths or water to slowly warm the skin.
    • Pat it dry.
    • Give your child a warm drink.
  6. Call your doctor for treatment if the numbness lasts for more than a few minutes.


  1. This can happen if your child is outside for a long time and gets wet.
  2. Hypothermia can happen even in warmer weather, like 10°C, if it is rainy and windy.
  3. Hypothermia can set in when your child’s body temperature drops below the normal 37°C (98.6°F).
    • The child shivers badly.
    • They cannot talk clearly. They become clumsy.
  4. Call 911 when this happens.
  5. Get your child inside. Remove wet clothing.
  6. Wrap the child in warm blankets.

More safety tips:

  1. Watch your kids when they play outside.
    • Children eight years and below should be supervised.
    • Check if they are warm and dry.
    • Set breaks. Ask them to come inside for a warm drink. It will break up long exposure to the cold.
  2. Give them protective gear if they are tobogganing, sledding, skating or playing hockey.
    • Helmets, shin pads, and the right sports equipment are necessary.
    • Read Sports gear safety tips from the Healthy Canadians.
    • Ask a friend or adult to go with them who knows the sport.
    • You or your child may not know the risks in snow or icy conditions.


Sources: CMAS Canada brochure on Dressing for Winter and Caring for Kids, Winter safety: Advice to parents and kids.

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