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Module 4: Active Physical Play

Part 6d: Precautions for Outdoor Play

Outdoor play is good for children—even in winter! Contrary to popular belief, outdoor play in winter does not put children at risk for getting a cold. Germs, not cold weather, cause a cold.

A picture of a preschool child or children playing outside in the winter.Nonetheless, the following precautions should be followed for outdoor play:

  • Do not allow children to play outside during extreme cold or hot temperatures. Temperatures above 40 degrees and below 80 degrees Fahrenheit are usually suitable for routine outdoor play.
  • Make sure children dress appropriately for the outside temperature.
  • Protect children from sunburn even on cloudy days.
  • Check outdoor play areas daily for unsafe surfaces and possible obstacles.
  • Wipe down wet outdoor equipment to prevent slips and falls.
  • Check for adequate cushioning under climbing equipment because sand and bark may compact when wet.
  • Do not allow smoking while children are playing in outdoor play areas.
  • Always supervise outdoor play!

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