Well, for better or for worse, winter is here and with winter come a number of dangers that don’t exist the rest of the year. This week we’re going to look at some winter safety tips for every and any winter activity you might be involved in.
Today we’ll look at some general safety tips relating to cold, frostbite, clothing, etc….
1. When sending your children outside to play, make sure that they are always in pairs or in groups. This tip is, of course, one that is good practice no matter what the weather is like but it is especially important when temperatures drop and/or if there is snow on the ground. Snow drifts and cold temperatures can make for dangerous conditions for a child playing alone.
2. Make sure that children are staying warm and dry. Check on them often and have them come in regularly to warm up. This is especially crucial for very small children who don’t have as much body mass and fat to protect them from the cold. Smaller children’s body temperature can drop rapidly and, because they might not be as aware as older children about when to come inside, they are in greater danger of hypothermia and frostbite.
3. Teach children to be aware of their surroundings at all times. Make sure they understand the snowplows and snow blowers can be extremely dangerous because of the amount of snow that they move. A small child can very easily and quickly be completely buried by either if the operator does not see them.
4. Never send children outside to play when temperatures fall below zero Fahrenheit.
5. Make sure that children are aware of the dangers that metal, especially metal poles pose. Any body part with moisture can freeze to metal objects (We’ve all seen the movie “The Christmas Story” and while it may make for good comedy, all to often kids do actually stick their tongues on metal poles and it’s not a lot of fun getting them loose).
6. Make sure that children understand that they need to come inside to change and warm up if they get wet, especially in their boots because of the dangers of frostbite.
7. Think “Layers” when going outside in winter weather. Layers provide pockets of air between the layers which provide better insulation. They also allow for the removal of one layer at a time if the child is too hot.
Tomorrow… Skiing and snowboarding winter safety.