With snow comes outdoor activities like sled riding, skiing, snowboarding and ice skating. Thousands of children suffer injuries during these activities that may be prevented.
Helmets are essential for many outdoor winter activities. The risk of head injury is too great to leave the helmet in a closet at home. Helmets prevent or reduce the effects of 53 percent of the head injuries suffered by children while skiing or snowboarding.
Children should bundle up and enjoy the outdoors. Before heading out, it is important to remember a few key items in addition to the hat and gloves.
Top Winter Safety Tips
- Always wear sport-specific, properly fitting safety gear when participating in winter sports.
- Kids should always wear helmets when they ski, sled, snowboard and play ice hockey. There are different helmets for different activities.
- Parents should wear helmets too. Remember, your children learn safety habits by watching you.
- Dress in layers and wear warm, close-fitting clothes. Make sure that long scarves are tucked in so they don’t get entangled in lifts, ski poles or other equipment.
- Stay hydrated. Drink fluids before, during and after winter play.
- Kids — or caregivers — who become distracted or irritable, or begin to hyperventilate, may be suffering from hypothermia or altitude sickness, or they may be too tired to participate safely in winter sports. They need to go indoors to warm up and rest.
- Children under 6 should not ride a snowmobile, and nobody under 16 should drive one. All snowmobile drivers and passengers should wear helmets designed for high-speed motor sports. A bike helmet isn’t sufficient for a four-wheeled motorcycle that can go up to 90 miles per hour.