Snug as a Bug – Your handy guide to keeping your children warm, dry and happy whilst on your family ski holiday!
Brrr…. It can get cold out there! Nothing spoils winter holiday fun quicker than becoming wet and cold, so here are our tips for dressing and caring for your kids on the Sainte Foy slopes!
Layers, Layers, Layers
The right mix of clothing layers will ensure your children are warm, comfortable and happy! Start with a set of snug thermal base layers, which will provide extra warmth and help to remove any moisture away from the skin. Team these up with a comfortable fleece and an insulated waterproof jacket and pants/salopettes.
Top tip – When buying ski jackets, look for ones with a snow skirt and snug-fitting cuffs. These will help keep the snow out. A ski pass pocket on the sleeve for their lift pass is also very handy!
Mittens or Gloves?
A warm, waterproof pair of gloves or mittens are fundamental. Hands are the first to get cold as an extremity to the body. It’s important to make sure that gloves cover your little one’s wrists too – cold exposed wrists make for chilly hands. Mittens can often be warmer than gloves as fingers are snug together keeping them warmer for longer. Mitts are also much easier for smaller children to put on!
We suggest that you bring two pairs of gloves/mittens for each child. One pair for the slopes and another to play in the snow later! Gloves are so easy to lose, it’s always handy to have a spare pair, just in case!
Top tip – Mitten clips are a simple, inexpensive and practical way of keeping children’s mittens close to hand and preventing them from getting lost. Cheap elastic and a couple of safety pins, work in the same way too!
Helmets & Beanie Hat
Just like adults, kids lose most heat through their heads; ensure you keep the heat in with a warm hat. Ski helmets are almost compulsory and will safeguard your little ones from any bumps, knocks and falls. Given that kids grow so quickly, we always recommend hiring helmets from our preferred ski equipment partner SkiSet. Don’t forget a thin beanie hat (which covers the ears) for underneath their helmet, this will ensure your kids are nice and toasty all-day long!
Goggles and/or Sunglasses
Goggles create a snow and wind proof eye barrier around the eyes to protect them from damaging ultraviolet rays. They will stay securely in place for lots of fun on the snow! Of course some parents opt for sunglasses instead – it’s really just a personal preference.
Versatile and practical, neck warmers are perfect for keeping out the chill on the chairlifts and slopes. Pull them up over the mouth and nose, leave them down around your neck or even wear them as a headscarf!
Dry Socks for each day….
Thick ski socks are designed to keep little feet warm, dry, and comfortable throughout the day, essential for a fun week on the slopes. It’s great to have a clean pair of dry socks each day to avoid rubbing and blisters. Socks should reach to the knee to keep feet warm and secure in ski/snowboard boots.
Beware, cotton socks will suck up moisture, so these should be avoided when skiing or snowboarding.
Don’t let the cold set in
Leave the chalet ready for the slopes! Zipped up to the top, gloves on, helmets fastened etc, etc… Ensure that the children are properly wrapped up too before they leave the warmth of the chalet. All too often kids will drop something in the snow, pick it up without gloves, hey presto – cold hands before you’ve even started the day!
Beginning the day with even slightly damp boots can be disastrous. As soon as you step outside this water will cool quickly, and as a consequence the children will have very cold toes!
Many of our chalets offer ski lockers with boot heaters, which are perfect for drying boots overnight. Who doesn’t love a nice, toasty ski boot to put on in the morning? Alternatively, you can also leave them in your cosy chalet!
Hand warmers are convenient and easy-to-use, we would certainly recommend that you keep some in your bag. They are inexpensive and generally work for approximately 8 hours. They’re always good for comforting children when the “Mum, Dad, I’m cold” begins.
Some mittens or gloves even have special pockets for the warmers however, this feature isn’t necessary to be able to use hand warmers effectively. Just slide them into the mitten or glove and they’ll work their magic!
Take lots of breaks…
On very cold days, it’s a good idea to take plenty of breaks. There are some great mountain restaurants in Sainte Foy, which are perfect spots for thawing out, plus they have amazing hot chocolates too! Open their jackets to let the warm air in, undo their little boot buckles to let feet relax & find a radiator for a quick blast of heat on the gloves. You will be warmed up and ready for another run in no time at all!
Stay hydrated and fuelled
Hunger and thirst are never a good combination for children at the best of times, as it will unquestionably make anyone colder. Dehydration will make it harder for the body to regulate temperature, so it’s important to ensure that your children are drinking plenty of water throughout the day. Don’t forget plenty of high energy snacks too – check out the small supermarket in resort or bring their favourite snacks with you.
Snow boots will keep little feet warm and dry when playing in the snow and are ideal for wearing round the resort.
The sun’s rays are very intense in the mountains and the reflection from the snow can cause damage quickly. Always use high factor sun creams (factor 50+) and lip balms.
If you use our handy guide above, you and your little ones are guaranteed amazing ski days on the slopes. At the end of a fun day, you can all head back to your cosy warm chalet, whether it be for afternoon tea, to heat up in front of a roaring log fire, take a dip in the hot tub, or simply relax in your gorgeous Alpine retreat