Q. What do children do to keep warm and safe in the winter in Alaska? Thanks. – Pat
A. Good question, Pat, but it’s not as complicated as you might think. I don’t know of a kid who doesn’t love winter here! My grandkids look forward eagerly to the first good snowfall. Alaskans have many outdoor sports in the winter and some crazy and fun festivals.
Probably the main thing you would keep in mind is to have warm clothing for them; especially good warm footwear. Add a wool sock to a well insulated snow boot, put on snowpants and a good warm jacket. Add hat and mittens and Voila!….a happy kid. It’s helpful to have a whole box of mittens because a kid can sure go thru them – either getting them wet or losing them!
I think it is really important that you use iron on (or sew on) reflective tape on their clothing too, because part of the winter, they are catching the school bus in full darkness and even coming home in the dark. We only have about 5-6 hours of daylight and farther north it is even more extreme. So you want a car driver able to see the kid standing by the side of the road. Another good thing is to add a flashlight to a pocket. Of course, you know kids. You better also buy some stock in the battery companies!
Believe it or not, one of our favorite memories is the first winter we were up here, attending Fur Rendevous festivities in Anchorage on a cold February day. We took the five younger of our eight kids. We watched the start of the dog races, visited the ice sculptures, and even took in the carnival, riding the ferris wheel at 20 below! Sounds crazy I know. We left home with two very hot baked potatoes, wrapped in foil for each person. You tucked them into your pockets for hand warmers! They kept warm for a surprisingly long time. Then when they were getting to where they were only warm, we ate them! Snack and hand warmer all in one. We did indeed, also, duck into cafes now and then for hot chocolate, but it was a fun day.
I guess, all that to say, don’t be worried about winter and children in Alaska. They get along just fine. Thanks for writing. -Bonnie