SURVIVING WINTER AND YOUR CHILDREN

BRRRR…

Winters in Alberta can seem very cold when you are used to a warmer temperature. During our winter season the temperature is often below 0 degrees and the winds can make the temperature feel even colder – this is known as windchill. When not dressed properly for the winter your skin can be injured if exposed for too long. It is important to be aware of Frostbite and Hypothermia while enjoying outdoor activities in the winter. Signs of Frostbite can include: reddened skin, feeling of numbness, burning and tingling. Hypothermia occurs when the body is losing heat faster than it can make it. Signs of hypothermia include shivering, cold, pale or blue-grey skin, mild unsteadiness, slurred speech, and numb hands and fingers.  

Before heading outside with your little ones for some winter fun, dress your kids accordingly:

  • A thick, windproof coat with room for layers underneath

  • Boots with warm lining and grip to prevent your child from slipping

  • A hat or toque that covers your ears

  • Lined gloves or mittens

  • A scarf or ski mask to wear over your nose and mouth to protect your lungs from the cold air

  • Warm layers of clothing underneath

Winter Adventure Walk

Staying cooped up inside for too long can leave everyone feeling a little grumpy. While we sometimes shy away from going out into the cold, spending time outside is a sure-fire way to promote physical activity, stimulate the imagination and lift everyone’s mood!

Once you’ve bundled up, try our winter adventure walk in your neighborhood or try exploring a new area of town; there’s lots of parks and trails to discover. When you’re finished your adventure, you can make a map or draw a picture of all the places you’ve visited.

Click below for The Hub’s Winter Adventure Walk activity:

Safety and Fun Tips for Snow Forts

Always have someone outside with you when you are building a snow fort since cave-ins can be very dangerous. If you are planning on adding a ceiling, ensure that there isn’t too much weight. When building a snow fort, much preparation must go into the safety of it. Also, avoid building snow forts and buildings near the road and highways since this creates problems in safety for the traffic. Carbon monoxide fumes can accumulate inside your fort, which can eventually lead to CO poisoning and possibly death. Building away from public places will also help with keeping your fort up longer.

Snow forts and food coloring are a great combination. If you decided to decorate your snow fort, take some food coloring and mix it with about a cup of water for a diluted solution. Pour this solution into an old spray bottle and spray directly onto the fort to make some awesome designs. Decorating your newly built snow creation is the best part!

Outdoor Skating Rinks:

  • Abasand - Found on Athabasca Avenue near Father Beauregard School

  • Gregoire - Found near Greely Road School

  • Thickwood - Found at the corner of Hinge Bay and Signal Road

  • Timberlea - Found near St. Anne's Schools on Brett Drive

  • Timberlea - Found at the Syncrude Athletic Park

  • Waterways - Located on Bulyea Avenue

Winter Dressing Tips

WINTER DRESSING TIPS

Parents can encourage more independence in dressing, but some children will resist these efforts. Teaching a child to dress takes time and results of teaching efforts are not always dramatic. Nevertheless, dressing can be fun, and with an encouraging and workable approach, good progress can be made.

We will be considering 2 approaches to getting kids to dress themselves this winter period or any season at all. Both approaches require extra time and effort along with consistency. Allow enough time for dressing to give your child time to learn the skills.

INFORMAL APPROACH

Praise independent dressing

  • Praise them enthusiastically and frequently for any attempt to help put on an item of clothing.

Describe what is happening

  • Talk to your child about what you are doing – “we’ve got your pants on, now it’s time for your snow pants” – and remember to praise every little cooperation.

Prompt the names of clothing /parts of the body

  • Ask your child to identify each item of clothing

  • “First we put on what? “Where do you put your arm?” “What do you pull over your head?” “Yes, the sweater!”

Only give assistance when it is required

  • For example, avoid pulling up their pants if they can do this. Over time, gradually reduce your assistance and praise once they’ve put on all clothing items.

FORMAL APPROACH

Assess your child’s dressing skills

  • Make a list of some dressing skills that you might want to teach them to do for themselves. Examples may include: Putting on pants, threading a zipper, zipping up, tying shoelaces, putting on a button-up shirt etc.

Choose a skill to teach

  • When choosing a skill, also consider what your child can already do and enjoys doing but might just need help to finish or do better.

Establish the steps of the skill

  • For example, putting on pants might look like this:

o   Hold pants with label closest

o   While sitting put right foot through pants/ and left foot

o   Stand up

o   Pull the pants from ankles to knees

o   Pull pants to mid-thigh

o   Pull pants to waist.

Your list may not look exactly like this. For some children, only a few big steps are required, for others it helps to have a lot of smaller steps.

Choose a reward

  • Your attention in the form of smiles, hugs, and descriptive praise (“Well done Jack, you have pulled on your pants nicely”) is often the best reward for children. You may also consider using rewards such as a short amount of time to play with a favourite toy or small food reward.

Decide when you will teach skill

  • Dressing skills are usually best taught when these skills are needed. Allow enough time for dressing so that you are not rushed.

Get everything you need ready

  • Have everything your child needs all in one place before you start. Avoid distractions, like having the TV on. Try to choose clothing that is manageable for your child -this often means using clothing a bit larger. Be alert to signs that shows child might be having trouble and be ready to assist.

 

MORE TIPS & SUGGESTIONS

  • Look for mittens that go up to child’s elbow, they keep arms warm and are harder to remove.

  • Are hats a problem? Balaclavas (a hat that covers the neck and face, with holes for the eyes and mouth) are harder to take off and they keep more of the face and neck.

  • For a hat that goes under the chin, a Velcro or snap attachment is faster to put on than one with strings. Its safer if the child gets caught on something.

  • Make getting ready to go outside fun. Sing Songs!!!

Family Violence Prevention Month

Did you know that The Hub Family Resource Centre has been involved in The Family Violence and Coordinating Council since 2011? The Family Violence and Coordinating Council is a collaborative partnership of agencies who support our region’s ability to recognize, respond, and prevent family violence and abuse. The counsel’s vision is to create a safe and healthy community free of family violence and abuse. Members include, Waypoints, Probation with the Government of Alberta, Child and Family Services, YMCA Supports 4 Wellness, Some Other Solutions, Alberta Health Services, and the RCMP just to name a few!

Mayor Donald Scott proclamated November Family Violence Prevention Month in our region and purple is worn to show support and to spread awareness for the cause. You may have seen staff at the Hub Family Resource Centre wearing purple and purple ribbons all month.

The Hub offers services for families that have experienced domestic abuse and/or custody and access issues including Safe Exchange and Safe Visitation. Safe Visitation provides a comfortable setting for visits to occur between a parent and child. Safe Visitation is also utilized by families where there have been concerns of child abuse or substance use. Safe Exchange Services enables a child to transition from one parent to another without having parents come into contact with one another. No referral is necessary for either of these services. If you are interested in learning more about Family Access Services please call 780.750.7416 dial 7 then extension 1.

To get involved in Family Violence Prevention Month you can wear purple, use the hashtags #gopurpleAB and #violencefreeRMWB, and start a conversation with a friend, loved one or stranger to spread awareness and prevent violence.

If you or someone you know is experiencing Domestic Violence please call the Crisis Line at 780.743.1190 or the appropriate authorities RCMP: 780.788.4000 and/or Child and Family Services: 780.743.7416.

FIRST BLOG POST!

The Hub Family Resource Centre works to encourage the best possible development of children and families across the Regional Municipality of Wood Buffalo. We offer a variety of free programs including: drop-in play Monday to Friday 10-4 downtown and Monday to Saturday 10-4 in Timberlea, early learning programs, parent education, resources and referrals, prenatal and postpartum support services and safe visitation and exchange.

If you are not sure where to start, we recommend stopping in either of our locations to chat with a Family Support Worker. It is easy to join the fun at the Hub!

The purpose of this blog is to share more information and resources for families digitally. You’'ll hear about everything from play dough recipes to potty training, prenatal resources, preventing family violence and so much more. Follow our Facebook page to make sure you don’t miss out!

Here are the exciting things that are happening this month at The Hub:

  • November 8th Mindful Motherhood

  • November 14th Mediterranean Potluck

  • November 20th National Child Day Celebration

  • November 30th Ages and Stages Questionnaire Day

Go to the Programs and Services tab on our website for more information and to register.

Hope to see you there!