Fort Worth, Texas,
08:46 AM

5 Common Winter Mistakes Parents Make

That snowflake on the forecast came out of nowhere...but it brought some freezing rain and snow. Because we're not used to cold, winter weather in our area and we particularly get out of practice with weeks of mild are 5 winter weather mistakes parents make:

  1. They don't leave enough time for their commute. Even if the roads get mildly slippery and you were born and raised in North Dakota, keep in mind that us native Texans pretty much absolutely freak out about winter weather. We'll either be taking it too slow or driving like a maniac. Give yourself some extra time to get the kids to school.
  2. They leave their kids puffy coats on in the car. Car seats are not meant to be buckled around big puffy jackets. Take them off and use them as a blanket before you take off. Read more about this here. Give your child an extra second to put it back on in the school drop off line. (Yet another reason to see No. 1 above).
  3. They forget to take care of their kid's skin. Get outside and play in the cold weather, but remember that sun and snow can still cause significant sunburns. Apply sunscreen like you're at the beach. Cold wind can also lead to dry, red cheeks in children of all ages. Apply some vaseline to the cheeks after being outside and at the first sign of irritation.
  4. They ran out of their child's albuterol. Weather change can be a significant risk factor for children with asthma. A sharp drop in temperature often bring the wheezers into the office in droves. Make sure you have inhalers or albuterol for your nebulizer on hand (and not expired).
  5. They worry about things that don't really matter. "Cover their head so they won't catch a cold." "Don't let them outside with a wet head." Here is more information about these and many other Winter Wives' Tales.

Now that you know some of my big tips for keeping your child safe when the weather turns cold, stay safe and enjoy the winter while you can!

Get to know Justin Smith, M.D.

Justin Smith, M.D., is a pediatrician in Trophy Club  and the Medical Advisor for Digital Health for Cook Children's in Fort Worth, Texas. Dr. Smith is an experienced keynote speaker for a variety of topics including pediatric/parenting topics, healthcare social media and physician leadership. If you are interested in having Dr. Smith present to your conference or meeting, please contact him at

He has an active community on both Facebook and Twitter as @TheDocSmitty and writes weekly for Cook Children's He believes that strategic use of social media and technology by pediatricians to connect with families can deepen their relationship and provide a new level of convenience for both of their busy lifestyles. Dr. Smith’s innovative pediatric clinic, a pediatric clinic “designed by you,” open now. Click here to make an appointment, call 817-347-8100.

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