Is there anything worse than cold hands on a powder day? Yes. Cold hands on a day with bad snow. Even more terrible: Kids with cold hands on a powder day. You know what’s coming next, “Can we go in? I’m not having fun. This is stupid. I’m COOOOOLLLLLLD.”
Goodbye, powder day.
I’ve written before about winter warmth (see “How Do I Tell If My Kid’s Boots Fit? More Importantly, How Do I Keep my Kid’s Feet Warm?” and “How Cold Is Too Cold for Skiing?”), but I figure we can all use a refresher before the lifts start running, this time specific to hands.
And, just to sweeten the pot, WinterKids.com has thrown in a Warm Hands and Head giveaway: a pair of Kombi Storm Cuff mittens in black pinstripe and a 686 Icon Visor beanie! To enter, simply leave a comment at the end of this post. One winner will be chosen in a random drawing on Tuesday, October 18.
How to Keep Your Kids’ Hands Warm On Even the Coldest Days
1. Buy good quality waterproof mittens or gloves. If you love to ski or ride and you want your children to love it too, buy them the same quality you would buy yourself. If you believe Gore-Tex is good for you, it’s good for them too. Waterproofing of some sort is a necessity, because wet hands are cold hands.
I’ve heard various opinions about mittens versus gloves, and mostly it comes down to personal choice. For my kids, I choose mittens. In theory, mittens will keep hands more warm because the fingers are all together and you can ball them up to generate warmth. It is also quite easy to toss a pair of disposable hand warmers into mittens. Added bonus, mittens are much easier for young children to put on.
2. Layer. I’m all about thin glove liners that go on underneath the mittens. Liners come in all sizes. They are lightweight and they can easily be stashed in a coat pocket. Yes, they are two more pieces of equipment for you to keep track of, or for your child to lose, but they are inexpensive and worth every penny on a cold day.
3. Layer again. If your body is cold, your fingers will let you know. Make sure your kids are dressed appropriately for the ski day. Good long underwear (not cotton and not pajamas), a ski turtleneck or 1/2 zip, and a fleece or sweater are good ideas. The goal is not to turn your children into little Michelin men, but to keep them warm, while retaining mobility. And don’t forget a helmet on your pumpkin’s head. A bare head is basically an escape hatch for heat. If you’re walking from the parking lot to the lodge, and your child doesn’t want to wear their helmet yet, pop a cute beanie on top.
Make sure your children have good quality ski coats and pants. Kids don’t regulate temperature as well as adults. So, again, buy your kids the same quality you buy yourself. If you don’t like spending the money, think about hand-me-downs and swaps with friends whose children are bigger or smaller than yours. Invest once, share and share again.
4. Don’t let them sweat. With all this advice about how to keep your kids warm, don’t overdo it and make them too hot. Sweaty hands on a chair lift will quickly turn into cold hands on the slope if the mittens get wet. If your kids hands run hot, air them out on the lift.
5. Don’t let the cold set in. Never let your kids walk from the car to the lodge or carry their gear without their mittens. Keep extra mittens in your ski bag and if your child’s mittens do get wet, swap them out for the dry ones. If it’s a really cold day, take frequent breaks to warm up. Snacks are also a good idea. Whether you go in for hot chocolate or eat a granola bar on the lift, sufficient fuel will help keep your child warm…and the whining to a minimum!
Please leave a comment to win the Warm Hands and Head Giveaway from WinterKids.com. One lucky winner, of both items, will be chosen randomly from all comments received on Tuesday, October 18.
Thank you to WinterKids.com for allowing me and my sons to preview the Kombi Storm Cuff Mitt, the 686 Icon Visor beanie, the Obermeyer Radiator Mitt and the North Face Blues II beanie. As always, all opinions expressed by me are my own and are exactly what I would share with family and friends.
This giveaway is now closed. Congratulations to Joel!
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