Brrr! It’s been a cold winter with below-average temperatures. This has meant more snow, cold and exposure to winter weather. While it’s always fun to play and marvel at the winter wonderland, it’s important to remember basic winter safety tips to keep your family and loved ones safe.
Children love playing in the snow – both at school and in your backyard. By talking with them about these safety tips, you can ensure that everyone is safe this winter.
Stay Snug as a Bug
Talk to your children about their winter wear and how they should dress if they’re going to play outside. While winter clothing should snugly fit kids, it should still be loose enough to allow movement. In fact, clothing that restricts movement actually constricts blood flow, which makes it more difficult for the body to regulate its internal temperature. Even if you monitor your children as they get ready for school or outdoor playtime, it’s important that they know the basics of proper winter wear.
Stick to the Buddy System!
Children should never play outside alone in the snow. They should always be in good company, which is easy to achieve with siblings, neighbors, and friends. Encourage your children to abide by the buddy system and look out for each other. This is particularly important for children younger than eight years old.
Don’t be a Daredevil
Winter is a particularly fun time for outdoor sports. From sledding to ice skating, there are many outdoor activities that children enjoy in the winter. However, it’s important to encourage your children to play in moderation. When it comes to sledding, for example, consider designating certain hills specifically for sledding. This will prevent children from seeking out their own steep hills, which can cause serious sledding injuries. Remember, sleds generally move at 15-20 miles per hour.
Aside from skating, be sure to discuss outdoor ice skating with your children. They should never attempt skating, walking, or playing on a “frozen” pond on their own. Ice can be deceiving and isn’t always as thick as it looks. If your children insist on ice skating, remind them that there are many outdoor skating rinks to enjoy in a safe environment.
Be Aware of Winter Health
Teach your children about the basic symptoms of hypothermia and frostbite. Children love to push the limit and may ignore the signals their body gives them that something is wrong. Encourage your children to pay attention to how cold and energetic they feel when playing outside. If they’re aware about winter health, your children will know to come inside if “something doesn’t feel right.”
Communication is Key
When it comes to winter safety, it’s important to be as clear and straight-forward with your children as possible. They’ll be excited to play in the snow, sled down the hills, and have snowball fights with their friends. By ensuring that your children are aware of all these considerations, you can rest assured that they’ll be as safe as possible this winter season. Have fun and stay warm!
Are you the victim of an injury or are looking for ways to make your property safer? Consult Robert D. Erney & Associates Co., L.P.A. today.