Winter can be a time of great fun. Many families enjoy the weather by skiing, snowboarding, ice skating and sledding. However, these activities can lead to injuries. Following a few safety tips can help you and your family have a fun and safe winter.
Common Sources of Winter Injury
Winter sports, such as skiing, snowboarding, ice skating and sledding can be fun, but dangerous. Falls or crashes can cause cuts and bruises, broken bones, and brain injuries.
Sleds can reach speeds of 25 miles per hour.
Frozen bodies of water can have thin patches that can break when someone stands on them. This can lead to falling through the ice.
Getting Ready for Outdoor Fun
Dress warmly. Wear a winter coat, hat and gloves, and slip-resistant snow boots.
If skiing, snowboarding, snowmobiling, ice skating or sledding, make sure to wear a helmet to prevent a brain injury.
There are special helmets made for skiing, snowboarding and snowmobiles. For ice skating or sledding, a multi-sport or bicycle helmet would be a good option if a ski helmet is not available.
Use knee and elbow pads when ice skating.
Goggles are important when skiing, snowboarding or snowmobiling.
Snowboarders should wear gloves with wrist guards.
Sledding: Children younger than 5 should only sled with an adult.
Snowboarding: The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommends that children younger than 7 not snowboard.
Snowmobiling: The AAP also says that children younger than 6 should not ride on snowmobiles. Children younger than 16 should never operate a snowmobile.
Winter Safety Tips
Always watch children during winter sports activities.
Avoid sledding in areas with trees, fences, ponds and light poles. Do not sled in or near the street.
Only one person should ride on a sled, unless an adult is riding with a young child.
Always sled sitting up and facing forward. Never sled head first.
Steerable sleds are safer than snow disks or inner tubes.
Never ride a sled being pulled by a car, ATV, snowmobile or other motorized vehicle.
Ice skate in designated skating areas. Never skate on river ice or ice that has thawed and refrozen.