Most kids love winter, and they dream about the first snow day. Parents may love snow too, but they also worry. Kids consider themselves invulnerable whereas parents know better. Each time a child heads out the door to snowboard, ski, go ice skating or sledding, it is important to think about how to stay safe. Here is a useful review of winter weather safety tips for children.
Prepare Them For The Cold
Although they may want to, don’t let your child head out the door in a t- shirt and light jacket. Be sure they have enough gear to keep warm like several layers of warm clothing, gloves, a winter hat, socks, boots and a winter coat. Top it all off with snow pants if possible.
Give them a healthy meal before they leave the house, and keep tabs on how long they are outside. Although being outside is good for them, watch for hyperthermia and frostbite.
The American Academy of Pediatrics suggests that parents dress their young children in one extra layer than an adult.
Monitor young children while they are sledding. Select a hill away from ponds, fences, too many trees, and streets with motor vehicles. Find one with snow but not ice covered. Teach them to sled feet first or sitting up instead of head first. Wearing a helmet is a must.
Another tip for winter sledding safety is to climb back up the hill away from those coming down. This is surely a good way to prevent accidents.
Snowboarding And Skiing Safety Tips
No one should ski or snowboard alone. Additional tips include the following:
- All children should wear helmets even if the facilities do not require it.
- It is imperative to supervise your young children.
- The need for supervision of older children is dependent on their skill level and maturity.
- Eye protection or goggles should be used at all times.
- Avoid areas with trees or other obstacles.
Avoiding A Winter Cold Or The Flu
By now, we all know the drill. Children should be aware of how important it is to wash their hands frequently with hot soapy water and cover their mouth by coughing into their arm. Getting a flu shot will also safeguard them and others from the flu. Getting a COVID Vaccine is very important too.
Know What To Do In An Emergency
If your child has been in the cold for a long time, look for any signs of frostbite. A condition known as frostnip is an early warning sign of frostbite. If their skin is red and numb, take them inside, remove all wet clothing and soak the affected area in warm water.
Frostbite occurs on fingers, toes, the nose, cheeks, and ears. It will cause the skin to turn a yellow-grey or white. If this occurs, take your child to the emergency room.
Taking some precautions and following the safety tips will keep your children enjoying all the winter activities they love.
Contact Elmwood Pediatric Group at (585) 244-9720 if you have questions or concerns about winter weather safety for your child or if you suspect an injury.