How to Dress Kids for Outdoor Sports in the Cold: 5 Steps
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Don't compromise safety for warmth.

Somehow kids just don't feel the cold like adults do. They'll head out into the snow dressed in a swimsuit if you're not careful. If you've got a tiny athlete on your hands, your problem is probably compounded by the fact that kids find cold weather clothing restrictive and even hot. Make sure your child is covered up despite her protestations. Of course, you can tame a whiny athlete by making sure that cold weather gear is safe, non-restrictive and customizable so your burgeoning sports star is still comfortable.


  1. 1
    Ensure that your child suits up in the right type of safety gear for the sport. While she might complain that she doesn't need shinpads under all of her cold weather gear, she still needs to wear all of the safety gear necessary for the sport or not play at all. A few layers of clothing isn't a substitute for proper safety wear.
  2. 2
    Dress your child in layers that she can shed if she gets too warm. Also make sure they don't inhibit her movement. Perhaps a puffy down parka restricts her movement when she's trying to play, but thermal underwear, a sweatshirt and a waterproof thin jacket makes her feel more comfortable. If she gets warm, she can take off a layer without compromising her safety and warmth.
  3. 3
    Select the right type of fabric to help keep your little one warm and dry. If sweat isn't properly wicked away from her body, she might get too cold when her wet clothes start to cool. In general, children should be dressed in one moisture-wicking layer -- skip cotton and go for mesh or wool -- one insulating layer for warmth and then a waterproof layer on the outside.
  4. 4
    Add head protection that works with your child's helmet, if necessary. Wearing a knit cap can sometimes alter the fit of a helmet, so check to see if the straps need to be adjusted when worn with cold weather gear.
  5. 5
    Insist on gloves for warm hands, but choose the right type of gloves for the sport. For instance, gloves for soccer can be puffier, since the hands aren't used much. However, your child might want thinner gloves for something like peewee football, basketball or hockey. If thin gloves aren't warm enough, layer up with a few pairs that don't alter your child's grip but still keep your little one's hands toasty.

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