While it may be tempting to spend all of the winter season indoors, there are plenty of fun winter activities to entice people to spend some time outside. For instance, you can ski, skate, sled, or ride a snowmobile. Here are some tips to make sure that your children and you have a safe time enjoying winter activities.
General Safety Tips
Regardless of the type of winter activity, make sure to set a reasonable time limit on outdoor play to prevent hypothermia and frostbite, recommends the American Academy of Pediatrics. Even in winter, the sun’s rays can still cause sunburns, particularly when the rays reflect off of the snow, advises the AAP. Make sure to cover exposed skin with sunscreen and consider using sunglasses.
Ice Skating Safety Tips
Make sure that children only skate on approved ice surfaces. You should check for signs posted by local police or recreation departments or should call your local police department to find out which areas have been approved for skating, recommends the AAP. You should skate in the same direction as the crowd. Furthermore, you should not skate alone or chew gum or eat candy while skating. Consider having your child wear a helmet and knee and elbow pads, especially for novice skaters, advises the AAP.
Snowmobiling Safety Tips
Children under age sixteen should not operate snowmobiles; children under the age of six should never ride on snowmobiles. You should not use the snowmobile to pull a sled or skiers, suggests the AAP. You should wear goggles and a safety helmet that is approved for use on motorcycles or other motorized vehicles. You should never snowmobile alone or at night. Ride on marked trials, away from roads, water, railroads, and pedestrians, recommends the AAP.
Sledding Safety Tips
Because of the high likelihood of head injuries, you should never sled head first, urges the Huffington Post. Additionally, when you sit on the sled facing forward, this position gives you the greatest amount of control over the sled, suggests the Huffington Post. Nationwide Children’s Hospital suggests that you should avoid sledding in areas with trees, fences, and light poles or on rocky hills. Furthermore, you should only have the recommended number of riders on the sled at one time. And, if you sled at night, you should only sled in well lit areas.
Skiing or Snowboarding Safety Tips
Children should be taught to ski or snowboard by a qualified instructor in a program that is designed for children, recommends the AAP. Additionally, the slopes should fit the ability and experience of the skier or snowboarder, suggests the AAP. Furthermore, try to avoid crowded slopes and areas with trees and other obstacles, advises the AAP.
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