Proper Clothing and Safety are Key

The holiday (and winter) season is fully underway with good tidings and cheer, but the holidays can also bring on a variety of obstacles – like dangerous, wintry conditions. While there are an abundance of exciting outdoor activities to enjoy during the cold winter months, there are several things to keep in mind in order to maintain health and safety for yourself and your family. Have fun this season, but also remember to stay warm, stay safe, and to stay alert!

First things first! When venturing outside, be sure to dress in layers and ensure that those in your care do so as well. You should always encourage long sleeve shirts, winter coats, and specific accessories like hats, gloves, scarves, and long socks with winter boots. Then, once indoors and warming up, layers should be removed. Easier said than done, right? Well, if much fanfare is made with donning appropriate outerwear to get ready to go outside, this modeling behavior can encourage others with special needs to follow suit. Make “layering up” part of the activity so that it is built into the natural routine. Blankets can be placed in laps for extra warmth. In addition, warm and cozy ponchos and fuzzy hand warmers may be a better tolerated solution for some people.

When outside, walking and rolling should only be done on properly maintained pathways. This means avoiding any pathways that are not shoveled, plowed, and salted. Even under softly fallen snow, there can be slippery ice that could result in an unnecessary injury.

There are plenty of outdoor activities during the winter months, including caroling, snow play, and walks to enjoy the lights and luminaries. But if it’s much too cold, save the outdoor fun for a warmer day and do something inside. Some fun indoor activities include making holiday-themed decorations, playing games, baking a healthy treat, reading books, watching movies, and even bringing a little snow inside to play with. Happy winter, we’ll see you in the spring!

Written by Angelica Marmanillo, BSN, RN, Nurse Director & Education Facilitator at The Center for Discovery®.

For more information about our Nursing Program, please contact Richard Humleker, Vice President of Development, at