Winter sport safety
Winter sports such as sledding, skiing, and ice skating require certain precautions to be enjoyed safely.
When ice skating, children should wear skates that provide good ankle support to avoid injuries. The safest places to skate are indoor or outdoor rinks. If your children do skate on frozen rivers or lakes, they should obey all safety signs. An adult should always test ice to be sure it is safe. Avoid ice that is pitted, cracked, or less than four inches thick. Children should always be supervised when skating.
Before snowboarding or skiing, children should take lessons from an instructor, and an adult should make sure their equipment is undamaged and well-maintained. Children should wear helmets and wrist guards, and they should never ski or snowboard alone. Make sure your kids check all posted warning signs, follow designated trails, and know how to control their speed.
Children should never sled on roads or near bodies of water. They should always sit up or kneel on sleds and toboggans. Lying down increases the risk of head, neck, and spine injuries. Encourage them to take turns, as crowds increase the risk of collisions and injuries, and make sure the area is clear of branches, trees, and other debris.
Playground safety tips for winter
Make sure your child’s clothing cannot become caught or trapped in playground equipment. Replace drawstrings with velcro, use mitten clips instead of cords, and have kids wear a neck warmer instead of a scarf.
Kids younger than five are more at risk for injuries to the head and face, due to falling forward, while older children are more likely to injure their arms and legs from trying to break their falls. To prevent injuries, check playground surfaces for ice before letting your children play. Be especially wary of black ice, which can be hard to spot.
No matter what activities your kids are doing, set limits on the amount of time they spend outdoors and encourage them to come inside to rest and warm up. Kids are less likely than adults to notice when they are becoming too cold, and they are likely to be injured when they are tired.
February 27, 2020
Janet O’Dell, RN