5 Snow Safety Tips Every Parent Should Know

Mother and son playing in snowFor most kids, few events are more exciting than a snow day. There are seemingly endless ways to have fun outdoors in the winter, from sledding and skating to building snowmen.

However, cold weather also comes with some health hazards, so it’s important to ensure your children stay safe while enjoying the winter wonderland outside. Here are a few essential snow safety tips that every parent should know.

1. Dress them in layers. Fending off hypothermia and frostbite is a big concern during the winter months. Dressing children in several thin, snug layers helps keep them warm and dry, according to the American Academy of Pediatrics. Typically, you should dress infants and young children in one more layer of clothing than an adult would need to protect against the same level of cold.

2. Make sure they have the right equipment for winter sports. If your children participate in outdoor activities like skating, sledding, and snowboarding, it’s important to ensure they have the right equipment to reduce their risk of getting injured.

Parents should look up guidelines for their child’s specific sport. For example, children should always wear a ski/hockey helmet and have properly fitted skates with adequate ankle support for ice skating, the National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI) advises.

3. Keep them hydrated. In the summer when running around outside gets you sweaty, it’s easy to remember the importance of taking to breaks to drink water. Although it’s harder to tell you’re getting dehydrated from playing in the snow, winter sports and other activities still dry you out, according to Parents Magazine. So make sure your kids drink enough water while enjoying their snow days.

4. Know the dangers of snow banks. Building snow forts might seem like fun, but those structures can easily collapse and suffocate kids, the NCBI warns. Playing on or in snowbanks near the road is also hazardous, since a snowplow driver could potentially fail to notice your child.

5. Use the buddy system. Never send children out to play in the snow alone, the NCBI cautions. Parents should instruct children to look out for each other, and kids under the age of eight should always be under close parental supervision.

For more parenting tips and information about keeping your children safe and healthy, feel free to contact our team of pediatric therapists. At Little Steps, we’re determined to provide comprehensive and educational care to change children’s lives one step at a time. To learn more about our pediatric therapy services, please call 847-707-6744 or email info@littlestepspt.com.

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