Friday, November 30, 2012

Ways to Utilize Hand Warmers to Maximize Comfort

***Like most of the things we write about for getting your kids outdoors, these are things that have worked for us in the past, but it is up to you to determine what is appropriate for your family's needs. We are not responsible for how you to choose to prepare yourself of your children for the outdoors***

A question from my last post was "Can you tell me more about how you use handwarmers and other warming devices in stroller? I've received burns from handwarmers used in my pockets so I'm nervous about figuring out how to use them best in a stroller or chariot. I was meaning to write it to ask you so I was glad to see this post to spur me on!"

Safety and sanity are always our top priority. Personally I have a love hate relationship with hand warmers. I despise how wasteful they are, yet I haven't personally found reusable ones that work quite as well, or even half as well. I have Raynaud's which is described well on as "a disorder of the blood vessels, usually in the fingers and toes. People with this disorder have attacks that cause the blood vessels to narrow. When this happens, blood can't get to the surface of the skin and the affected areas turn white and blue. When the blood flow returns, the skin turns red and throbs or tingles. Cold weather and stress can trigger attacks. Often the cause of Raynaud's is not known. People in colder climates are more likely to develop Raynaud's than people in warmer areas." For me these little beasts are absolutely necessary. They are also very handy when keeping kids warm and comfortable outside in the winter.

***The warning on the label says not to allow the hand warmers to be "applied directly to your skin for an extended period of time." ***

1. Mittens & Boots

  • Put in mittens - NEVER put one directly on a child's skin. I always have my little kids' hands in a pair of their own wool socks (or mine - which provides a nice arm gaitor). This provides a liner. Then I put a hand warmer inside their mitt and check on them frequently. Some manufacturers make mittens & boots with pockets specifically for hand & foot warmers. I have an old pair of REI mittens that have this feature. I'll have to see if they still do that. 
  • Boots are the same. They make foot warmers that stick to the top of the sock and are less bulky. Always a sock in between the skin and the warmer.

2. Strollers, Chariots & Pulks

  • This only works with buggies that have a footmuff, weather shield or rain cover to keep the warmth in.
  • You can either use a couple of hand warmers or a larger body warmer. I place them either in the foot well of my Chariot or the bottom of the footmuff. Since my kiddos are already dressed from head to toe I don't need to worry about their skin making contact. While they're still in stage when they put everything in the mouth  I make sure they are secured in so they can not get a hold of the warmer.
  • Warmers do a pretty good job of keeping the babes toasty on frigid days in that little enclose space while being pushed or pulled by their parent.
  • Always make sure when you are bundling up a babe in stroller, chariot or pulk,  not to compromise the venting and fresh air exchange avenues.
Please add to the discussion below in the comment section for ways you use hand warmers or if you have found a great reusable one! 

Weather Shield & Footmuff


  1. Wow! Thanks so much for the quick and thorough response! This gives me the confidence to use the warmers and keep heading outside as the temps drop. Thanks for all of the great advice!

  2. Have you used hotsnapz reusable hand warmers?

  3. We have tried hotsnapz. They were way to big and bulky for us.