When the first flurries of snow appear every child gets excited and begins to beg to go outside. Snow brings wintertime fun for little ones but it also escalates a parents worries. Winter can pose dangers to children of a parent is not vigilant. Even older children need a parent’s supervision during wintertime fun to remain safe. Here are ten tips to help both parents and children enjoy a safe experience in the snow.
1) Dress your child warmly in layers. Layers allow the child to peel away an outer coating that may become wet. Choose water resistant fabrics or wool for added warmth and comfort. Make sure your child has a warm hat to keep his ears and forehead warm. Gloves or a mittens are also required to maintain hand warmth. Choose heavy socks and boots to offer added protection to the child’s feet. Consider shoving an extra pair of gloves or mittens into the child’s pocket in case the gloves become saturated.
2) Liberally apply sunscreen to exposed skin. Even if the weather is cold a child can still sustain a nasty burn. Snow has a highly reflective surface and the rays can quickly burn exposed, young skin.
3) Prior to allowing your child to sled or snowboard down a snow covered hill walk the expanse and look closely at the ground. Snow can hide obstacles and dangers that can send a child flying off the sled or snowboard. Look for large branches, fallen trees or rocks that may hinder the child’s. Children should never sled or snowboard without adult supervision. A child should wear a safety helmet when snowboarding. Avoid allowing the child to lay down on the sled headfirst to reduce the risk of a head or neck injury occurring.
4) Never allow a child to skate on a frozen pond without first determining the ice thickness. If a child wants to ice skate the best area is a supervised rink. If the children should ice skate on a frozen pond make sure that adults are present. The child should wear a safety helmet when ice skating to reduce the risk of a possible head injury from occurring.
5) Playgrounds can pose a special danger during extreme winter. Despite the risks many children still flock to the area for an afternoon of play. Walk through the playground to make sure there is no ice buildup on the play equipments surfaces.
6) Avoid allowing the child to climb on the play equipment. Wet boots can cause the surface of some jungle gyms to become extremely slippery and the child may fall.
7) Tuck a neck scarf into the child’s coat while playing. A neck scarf can become entangled on a surface and pose a serious choking hazard to the child.
8) Avoid allowing the child to walk too close to a roadway. Roadways pose a serious danger during inclement weather because a driver can quickly loose control of his automobile and run over a sidewalk or other surface due to the icy road conditions.
9) When your child comes indoors remove all layers of clothing. Offer the child something warm to drink to help warm him up. If the child is extremely chilled consider allowing him to take a warm bath.
10) The drying wintertime air often causes a child to suffer wintertime nosebleeds. Make sure the child has napkins on hand in case his nose begins to bleed. Consider placing a cold air humidifier in the house to raise the humidity. The child may also benefit from saline nose spray or drops. Discuss the situation with your pediatrician.
Wintertime is an ideal season for family fun in the snow if a few safety steps are followed. Parents should always be diligent and continue to watch their children closely no matter what the weather conditions may be.