BB-LEAF PLAY

Tyree Keys, 5, and his brother, Devon Keys, 3, found a leaf pile at Hanscom Park — a great thing to play in on a windy day. 

The cold of the winter months is rapidly approaching. Stay safe this season by remembering these five tips.

1. Be-leaf in late fall safety. The beginning of November usually brings a downhill slide in temperature and the amount of light we get during the day. Head into late fall and the holiday season with confidence after a busy summer and start to the school year.

2. Autumn-mobile driving tips. Daylight Savings ends on Sunday, Nov. 5, which means we get an hour back. While this extra hour to sleep is great, it also means that it gets lighter later and darker sooner. Drive safely with your headlights on at dawn and dusk. While on the roads, it’s also important to keep an eye out for farming equipment in rural areas, as farmers are out harvesting every day. This may create more dust than usual in those areas as well.

3. Wear your har-vests and hats. When heading out the door in the mornings, check the weather for both the high and low temperatures. Layers are a good way to have the same flexibility as the temperature. If your child is waiting for the bus in the morning but also has an afternoon recess, be aware that he or she may need a hat and gloves in the morning and just a jacket later in the day. Write names in all their winter gear so it doesn’t get lost if he or she decides to leave it behind for playtime at school.

4. Rake up the fun and bag up the hazards. After-school playtime in leaf piles is a good way to get active with your kids, but make sure you prepare in advance when raking. Make sure you don’t mistakenly rake sticks or rocks, as these may cause injury when your children take their running leaps into the pile. Stay outside and supervise your kids while they play as well, and take any chance to get involved while enjoying the fall foliage.

5. Gourd your health. Keep your family healthy by scheduling your flu shots if you haven’t already, and encourage your kids to wash their hands at school. There are more cold and flu germs going around during this time of the year, so staying clean is crucial to avoiding sick days. Don’t overdo it on antibiotics when you or your child are sniffling and sneezing. Antibiotic resistance can be problematic in a long season of colds, so use home remedies as often as you can.

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Heather L. Zimmerman, M.D., is board certified in pediatrics. Learn more about Heather on the Boys Town Pediatrics website.

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