February 5, 2010, Newsletter Issue #285: Kids Ski Wear

Tip of the Week

There are three words that can ruin any ski trip: "Mommy I'm cold!" Since kids are obviously smaller and lighter than most adults, they require careful attention to their ski wear. In general, the guidelines for dressing adults for the slopes will also apply to kids. As such, the layering approach will always work best.

Begin with a wicking layer that is composed of a synthetic fabric. Remember that cotton will retain, rather than wick moisture, so it should be avoided at all costs. Make sure that your child's long underwear is sized correctly. If the pants are too long, they will cause the ski boots to fit incorrectly.

Always remember that long underwear should never be tucked inside the boot. Although this may sound counter-intuitive, lighter ski socks provide more warmth than heavier ones. This is because heavier socks, as well as socks with sock liners will make your child's feet sweat. When the feet sweat, they get wet, and when they are wet, they get cold.

Your child's insulating layer comes next. In general, these are either made from fleece or wool. However, since many kids are allergic to wool, you might want to stick with fleece. For the outer layer, many parents like ski bibs. For obvious reasons, these are preferable for boys, as opposed to girls.

If you choose a ski bib, make sure that it is composed of a water resistant material. Since the area around the knees may be subject to wear and tear, make sure that this area is reinforced. The bib should have pockets for money and sunscreen, and should be roomy enough to fit long underwear and a turtleneck underneath.

Your child's ski jacket should be waterproof and wind resistant. If possible, find a jacket with a hood. Although a helmet is the best protection from the cold, for exceptionally cold weather, you might want to buy a helmet liner as well as a neck gator. Mittens should be water resistant, and should have a drawstring around the cuffs. Some mittens come with an inner glove liner. These provide the best of both worlds: Warmth and hand flexibility.

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