The Pacific Northwest is well known for its blustery fall storms and winter drizzle, but life must go on, even through the puddles. But starting the day off with wet shoes and a runny nose can lead to a cranky and uncomfortable child for the rest of the day, and rainy weather can prove hazardous for pedestrians and school supplies alike. If you regularly walk your child to preschool or daycare, you should plan ahead to make sure you both arrive at your destination safe, dry, and warm.
Dressing for the Weather
Before you leave home, make sure you and your child are ready for the weather with all the right clothing. Raincoats that won't become soggy and waterlogged are essential, as are rubber boots for splashing through puddles. You may want to pack an extra pair of indoor shoes, if your child doesn't want to wear the boots all day. Children who are old enough may be able to carry their own umbrella, otherwise you'll want one large enough for both of you.
Another thing to keep in mind while walking through stormy weather is your visibility. Gloomy Washington days can be dim and misty against a backdrop of dark trees, and the drivers passing by aren't always paying as much attention as they should. You may want to choose rain gear with reflective patches to help create a bright contrast and make crosswalks that much safer, and choose clothing that is light and colorful when the clouds roll in.
Waterproofing Your Child's Supplies
Besides keeping your child dry, you should also worry about the papers and books in his or her backpack. On the windiest, rainiest days, it may be wise to seal up important items in zip-lock bags or invest in a weather-proof backpack. Make sure your child's bag is safely stowed indoors before heading on your way, and make sure everything is zipped up before walking home in the afternoon.
Knowing When to Skip the Walk
Of course, while a typical cloudy day is perfectly safe for walking, the Pacific Northwest can also experience truly powerful storms with hurricane-force winds. If the winds are whipping, pedestrians below are at risk from falling tree branches and power lines, and you should always choose safety over perfect attendance. When in doubt, it's better to drive, find a ride, or catch a bus rather than wade your way through a storm. If you are concerned about getting your child to school in inclement weather, call in and let officials know that you may be a little late and make alternative plans.
For more information, contact a professional in your area or visit a website like http://www.kidscountry.net.Share