Every year at this time, schools let out for winter break and children everywhere are free to enjoy all of winter’s fun. Skating, skiing, sledding etc.. All seem like harmless home family fun but when not careful, these everyday activities can turn dangerous if not deadly. Don't let poor planning ruin your family’s holiday break. Each year thousands of children are seriously injured or killed from preventable home winter accidents. Safety dad can help you manage your holiday so accidents are less likely to occur.
Set reasonable time limits on outdoor play to prevent frostbite. Have children come inside periodically to warm up.
What to Wear:
· Dress infants and children warmly for outdoor activities. Several thin layers will keep them dry and warm. Clothing for children should consist of thermal long johns, turtlenecks, one or two shirts, pants, sweater, coat, warm socks, boots, gloves or mittens, and a hat.
· Allow children to skate only on approved surfaces. All too often children fall through unfrozen ponds with catastrophic results. Check for signs posted by local police or recreation departments to find out which areas have been approved.
· Advise your child to: skate in the same direction as the crowd; avoid darting across the ice; never skate alone; do not chew gum or eat candy while skating.
· Consider having your child wear a helmet while ice-skating.
* Keep sledders away from motor vehicles.
*Children should be supervised while sledding.
· Keep young children separated from older children.
· Never send two children down on the same sled
· Sledding feet first or sitting up, instead of lying down headfirst, may prevent head injuries.
· Consider having your child wear a helmet while sledding.
· Use steerable sleds, not snow disks or inner tubes.
· Sleds should be structurally sound and free of sharp edges and splinters, and the steering mechanism should be well lubricated.
· Sled slopes should be free of obstructions like trees or fences, be covered in snow not ice, not be too steep (slope of less than 30º), and end with a flat runoff.
· Avoid sledding in crowded areas.
Snow Skiing and Snowboarding
· Children should be taught to ski or snowboard by a qualified instructor in a program designed for children.
· Never ski or snowboard alone.
· Young children should always be supervised by an adult. Older children’s need for adult supervision depends on their maturity and skill. If older children are not with an adult, they should always at least be accompanied by a friend.
· The AAP recommends that children under age 7 not snowboard.
· Consider wearing a helmet.
· Equipment should fit the child. Skiers should wear safety bindings that are adjusted at least every year. Snowboarders should wear gloves with built-in wrist guards.
· Slopes should fit the ability and experience of the skier or snowboarder. Avoid crowded slopes.
· Avoid skiing in areas with trees and other obstacles.
· The AAP(American Academy of Pediatrics) recommends that children under age 16 not operate snowmobiles and that children under age 6 never ride on snowmobiles.
INFANTS SHOULD NEVER BE IN A HOT TUB!!!
Holidays are meant to be a fun time where memories are made. Don't make these memories that will haunt you forever. Be careful and be safe.