For adults, winter means clogged traffic, icy streets, snowed-in driveways and other seasonal troubles. For kids, winter is a fun time. The older ones can glory in the morning TV and radio message: no school today due to the heavy snowfall. For the littlest ones, there is playing in the new white stuff, making snow angels and discovering many other wonderful things to do. Some basic tips about winter safety may help reduce or eliminate those cold-weather dangers.
Tips for Winter Safety
1. Before sending your kids out to play in the snow, be sure to dess them in layers that will keep body heat in while not allowing the cold to invade. Wool hats that cover the ears or ear muffs will prevent frost bite. If the temperature is extra low, dress them with a wool ski mask head cover, with just holes for eyes and a slit for mouth. Complete the winter dress-up with heavy gloves or mittens with strings that attach to sleeves.
2. Whenever your kids go out into snow-covered areas away from your house, always be sure the buddy system is in effect. The best match-up would be an older one to watch a younger one. This is necessary when there are large groups of kids skating, sledding, and ski-boarding in the same area, such as the local park. Kids must keep their individual buddies in sight at all times.
3. If you live in an urban area, the buddy system is critical when there’s heavy traffic, icy streets, early darkness, and other potential safety hazards. If your kids are very young, it is best that each is always accompanied by a parent or other adult if there is any street, sidewalk, or other danger due to winter weather.
4. For all kids, limit their play outside on severe winter days to just an hour or two at a time. Require frequent rests at home to warm up and dry off. Give them nutritious snacks, along with hot beverages.
5. When the kids come in from playing in the snow, check immediately for any indications of illness. Uncontrolled shivering or high temperatures may indicate the beginnings of colds or flu. Check their hands and feet for possible frostbite. If any symptoms may worsen, that should be the end of playing in the snow that day.
Winter activities for kids who play outside in cold weather and snow is a constant concern for responsible parents. They must allow all the fun without neglecting the safety responsibilities.