As “Snowmageddon” hits Nashville (and the east coast) of course the kiddos want to get out in the snow. Especially, if they don’t see it that often. It’s going to be fun… but not so fun if your little snow angel gets sick, or hurt, or simply wet and miserable in the cold slush. So, remember to take some precautions and use some common sense with your children before they head out into the frozen tundra. Here are seven smart safety tips for children playing in the snow.
Smart Safety Tips For Children Playing In The Snow:
Layer clothing. You have heard this advice for years – because it works! Your goal while enjoying outdoor winter pursuits is to stay warm and dry. By dressing in multiple lightweight layers, you can shed or add clothing as conditions change. Layering includes three components: an inner layer that draws moisture away from the body, a middle insulating layer, and an outer shell. Try to use clothes that “breathe” and are versatile enough to adapt to changes in weather and activities. Remember, natural fibers like cotton and wool retain moisture, keeping you basically soaking wet from sweat and cold. Not a good combo. Also remember that at least 60% of heat loss happens through the head. Bring an extra hat and/or headband along.
Sledding or skiing? If your children playing in the snow involves a sled or skis, make sure they use a helmet! Head injuries are the most serious and most preventable accident on slopes and sledding hills. Helmets come in many shapes, sizes, and styles however, all are an easy and cost-effective way to protect your child.
Protect from frostbite. Cold injuries come in many forms. The first signs of impending frostbite are redness and a burning sensation in the area. This is replaced by “numbness” as the deeper layers of skin are affected. Take no chances even if it is “fairly warm.” When in doubt, cover everything! Prevention is the first goal. Put on those hats and gloves. Protect your feet from getting wet by wearing boots and layers of socks. If you think your child may have frostbite gently re-warm the area with lukewarm water. Avoid rubbing since that can cause further skin damage. Color and warmth should return to the area within 20 minutes. If it doesn’t or if you are unsure, seek medical attention immediately.
Avoid hidden dangers. Sledding may be as close as your neighborhood park but make sure to know the terrain and the conditions. Choose open areas away from the hazards of trees, roads, ponds, or buildings. Teach your children to be aware of other people who are sledding and avoid crashing into each other. If you or your child lose control of your sled, be sure to roll off the sled into the snow. Do not try to steer around obstacles.
Wear sun protection. Yep, you read that right. Sun rays reflecting off the snow can be almost blinding at times, even on cloudy days. It is important to use sunscreen and carry sunglasses and goggles with you at all times. Outdoor activities such as playing in the snow are much more fun when you can see!
Drink plenty of water. During any activity, especially outdoors, be careful not to become dehydrated. Pack plenty of water and snacks to keep the kids going strong while having fun in the snow.
Know your limits. If you or your child begins to feel fatigued, stop immediately and rest. If you become overly cold and shaky, go inside and take a break. Listen to your body signals. Be sure to stay in control. You will have more fun if you prepare correctly and are ready for changing conditions.
You may not be able to change the weather but you can improve your child’s safety while enjoying the cold and snow. Enjoy the winter and remember, it is less that two months to spring! Beat the winter blues and get out there and enjoy the winter fun of playing in the snow! Do have any safety tips to add for children playing in the snow? What are your favorite outdoor winter activities?
Rob Youngblood is a Single Dad, Keynote Speaker, Life Coach, Communication Expert, Emmy Award Winning TV Host, Writer, and Storyteller. Learn more about him at www.studioyoungblood.com. You can also follow him on Twitter and on Facebook