Winter Safety Precautions for Kids

Friday, December 27, 2013

Our children's immune systems are not as well developed as our own, and they are at greater risk of injury when they fall. It is important to take some basic steps to keep your kids safe this winter.

Winter Safety for Kids

  • Speak to your doctor about getting your child vaccinated against influenza before winter.

  • Use sunscreen. The sun that passes through clouds is sufficient to damage your child's skin, and snow reflects up to 80 per cent of the sun's rays.

  • Keep them warm by dressing them in layers when they go out. The outer layer should be made of water-proof material and the inner layers should be warm. Make them wear mittens and hats. If they do not want to wear scarves, make a game of covering their faces with snow masks. Put on rubber-soled boots.

  • Supervise the kids while they play winter sports. Most kids love sledding and tobogganing, but you should make sure that they do not injure themselves. Remove obstacles from the slope.

  • The safest position on a sled, disk, snow tube or toboggan is to sit down facing forward, or to kneel facing forward. Lying on their backs puts them at risk of spinal injuries, and sledding head-first has caused serious head injuries.

  • Even though child-sized snow mobiles are becoming common, many experts argue that children's motor control is not sufficiently well developed to prevent accidents. Evaluate your own child objectively and use caution.

  • Let the kids wear helmets when they do snow sports.

  • Do not allow kids under the age of five sled of ski solo. Let beginner ice skaters wear knee and elbow pads. Add more padding for ice hockey and snowboarding.

  • Keep kids indoors when the temperature drops below -5°C, and do not allow them to stay out for more than 30 consecutive minutes when it is between 0°C and -5°C. Since activity in cold weather takes a lot of energy, you can easily get them back into the house for a break by offering them snacks.

  • Keep kids with sore throats or fever inside the house, and observe runny noses and coughs carefully so they do not get worse.

  • Skin paleness, numbness and a tingling feeling indicate the beginning of frostbite. Hypothermia is marked by extreme shivering and lethargy. Take them back inside the house and warm them.

Kids can have a lot of fun during winter, so make sure you help them do it safely.