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Snow Day Safety

When kids wake up to a blanket of freshly fallen snow on the ground, they have one thing on their mind: snow day! But to parents, a snow day can mean potential injuries. With a little preparation, however, you can help your kid have the best snow day ever without worrying about their safety.

Prepare for the Cold

Layering is the best way to conserve heat for kids and adults. Think multiple, lightweight and loose layers to trap warm air. Avoid using cotton as a base layer because it’s not moisture wicking. It’s best to use a poly or poly blend as a base layer to ensure your kids can sweat in the snow without losing heat.

Protect Those Little Hands

Protect their little hands and fingers with well fitting, water-resistant gloves. Frostbite can set in quickly, so make sure all their extremities are covered.

Increase Their Visibility

Snow glare and reduced daylight hours lower visibility. Keep your kids visible to motorists by dressing them in bright or reflective clothes.

Don’t Forget About Sun Protection

Snow can reflect up to 90% of UV rays, making snow days a prime culprit of winter sunburns, so break out that waterproof sunscreen from summer.

Practice Safe Sledding

Studies show sledding sends up to 20,000 kids to the ER each year, many with serious head injuries. Pick designated sledding areas, which will have fewer obstacles. Bring younger children at off-peak times to limit the chance of kid-to-kid collisions.

Safety Inspect Sports Gear

Update your kid’s winter sports gear every year. For skates, skis, and snowboards, well-fitting equipment is the key to safety. If you’re not sure how to do this, have a sports pro assess the fit.

Keep Them Hydrated

Cold winter air can be drying, especially for kids exerting themselves in play. Have kids take frequent breaks to hydrate, even if they aren’t thirsty. Studies have shown cold weather can play tricks on us, leaving us feeling more hydrated than we are. Take extra precaution with kids with asthma, as the dry air can tighten bronchial passages. Have them wear a scarf around their mouth to warm air before they inhale.

Be Wary of Ice and Snow

Even small accumulations of snow can hold hidden dangers, and not all water bodies are safe for skating. Check with local authorities to find safe skating spots, and have your kids be careful of freshly fallen snow or large drifts, which can cave in.

These are some of the most common dangers kids can face on a snow day. They want to have fun, and you want them to stay safe. Keeping the above tips in mind can make you both happy.

R.F. Wittmeyer

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