Winter Sports Safety Tips
Sports provide children with a chance to stay healthy and make new friends. During the winter, however, harsh weather can expose young athletes to potential health hazards. If your child is participating in cold weather athletics, learn the following winter sports safety strategies to help keep them safe.
Many children shun sweaters and jackets, because they don’t feel cold. Usually, this is due to rising body temperatures associated with movement. Unfortunately, once they slow down, children are at risk of growing very cold due to perspiration. To keep your young athlete warm, dress him or her in layers. These days, this is easier than ever, thanks to modern fabrics, which insulate the body without creating too much bulk.
Many kids suffer sunburns during the winter, because colder temperatures make them underestimate the sun’s power. Regardless of the season, it’s important to wear plenty of sunscreen to prevent painful sunburns and dangerous skin cancers. Children can also benefit from SPF lip balms, which can block UV rays and prevent chapped lips.
Check Your Equipment
Whether you’re sledding, skiing or snowmobiling, it’s important to evaluate your equipment to make sure it’s safe and reliable. Equipment failures can result in serious injuries, including broken bones, impalements and concussions.
Wet hands and feet can quickly turn into a serious problem, even when temperatures are above freezing. To avoid potential frostbite and hypothermia, make sure your child understands the importance of staying dry.
Educate Your Children
Even well behaved children tend to neglect their safety when they’re having fun in the snow. To prevent your child from suffering a serious injury, be sure to educate him or her about the following potential hazards:
- Traffic: Cars can have difficulty stopping on slippery winter roads. Make sure your children stay off neighborhood streets, whether they’re playing hockey or sledding.
- Head Injuries: Falls are common during the winter season. If your child is skating, skiing or sledding, make sure he or she wears a helmet to protect against possible head injuries.
- Thin Ice: Children are often drawn to frozen ponds and lakes, which often appear sturdier than they really are. Tell your kids to stay off the ice, especially if there’s no adult supervision.
Supervise Your Children
Unfortunately, kids often succumb to peer pressure involving challenges and dares. To make sure your child doesn’t fall victim to an accident related to social pressures; make sure there’s a responsible adult present to supervise all winter sporting activities. By actively participating in your child’s winter fun, you can help keep him or her safe and create valuable memories in the process.