The Maine Emergency Management Agency reminds parents to dress kids in several layers, in cold weather, but don't overdo it.

When I was in early elementary school, girls were required to wear dresses, which posed a problem in the winter. I mean, tights are nice, but they don't offer protection against the snow. So my Mom joined with several others to persuade the school to let us put on pants, under our skirts, that we could then take off when we got to class.

Oh, how times have changed. Kids' clothing options are varied and colorful. But one thing that remains is the desire for kids to dress fashionably, within the expectations of their peers. It's up to parents to make sure they're also being smart in their choices, to keep them safe during the bitter cold Maine winters. MEMA, in cooperation with the Maine Department of Transportation, sent out a reminder during this week's cold snap to dress kids in several layers, so they can take some of them off, once they get to school. Now, it's important to practice moderation and not go crazy, like Randy's Mom in 'A Christmas Story.'

The layers should be comfortable and easy for them to take on and off. Think loose fleece pullovers, rather than sweaters with zippers for very young children. Plus, the children should have a place to store those layers, once they take them off, like a backpack or a cubby in the classroom. A comfortable child is going to be much more open to learning, than one who is overly warm or chilly.

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