If you live where Old Man Winter reins, then you know those months can be long and cold. Many people dream of a white Christmas , but after weeks of frigid temperatures, snow, wind and ice, it gets old fast.
No one wants to be trapped in the house with cabin fever, especially if you have kids. If the winter blues have you down, get out and enjoy some winter activities with your kids. Skating, skiing, sledding, snowboarding and more will let you all burn off energy and make the winter months fun, instead of a drag.
Although spending active time outside in the winter can be fun for your children, it’s important to take precautions. Here are six ways you can help keep your child safe while participating in fun, outdoor winter activities.
- Safety First
Always discuss safety with your children before allowing them to participate in any outdoor winter activities, such as ice-skating, sledding, snowboarding, and skiing.
If your children are old enough to walk to the activity area, talk to them about being extra careful to stay out of the traffic flow and look both ways before crossing streets.
According to a Noll personal injury lawyer: “ The motorist has a duty to operate their vehicle safely in regard to other motorists and pedestrians on the roadway.” Unfortunately, according to the CDC, nine people per day are killed in the U.S. due to the negligence of a distracted driver.
If your child is planning on snowboarding or sledding, make sure they’re going to an area that’s not too steep. It’s also imperative that trees and large rocks are at a minimum, because they can be a hazards for a children speeding down the slopes.
If your child is ice-skating somewhere other than an ice rink, make sure the ice is thick enough to support a skater. When in doubt, don’t let your child go out on the ice.
- Enroll in Lessons
You may need to consider lessons depending on what type of activities your child wants to participate in. For example, if your child wants to ski, some lessons would be in order. Knowing how to properly do an activity can help prevent injuries.
- Dress in Layers
Dressing in layers is a helpful strategy for keeping your child warm as they enjoy the great outdoors. Did you know, there’s a right way and a wrong way to layer clothing? First of all, you might want to dress a very young child with one more layer of clothing than you would wear, because younger bodies don’t regulate temperature as well as adult bodies.
Start with a snug base layer of wool or a synthetic fabric like polyester. This base layer needs to wick moisture away so, cotton is not a good choice because it absorbs perspiration.
A middle layer is next, which will serve to insulate. Opt for wool, fleece or down. The garment should fit snug to the body, but not be restraining in any way. Finally, there’s the outer layer that will protect your child from the elements, such as snow, rain and wind. A waterproof jacket that’s breathable is perfect for physical activity. The jacket needs to be large enough to fit over the layers and allow plenty of movement.
4.Wear Protective Gear
In addition to layers of proper clothing, quality protective gear is vital for outdoor winter activities. Injuries, such as concussions and eye issues, can occur during winter activities. Make sure everyone has protective helmets for skiing, snowboarding and sledding, as well as goggles. Knee and elbow pads may also be helpful.
- Make Sure Gear Fits
While you may be tempted to let your younger child wear protective gear handed down from your older child or relative, be cautious. Children should only wear gear that’s in good condition and fits properly. Improperly fitting equipment can lead to a loss of control during outdoor activities and possible injuries. Also, if the equipment or accessories are too big, they could slip off your child, leaving them unprotected.
- Keep Them Hydrated
In the heat of the summer, it’s easy to tell when you child needs to drink more water during activities, because they’re usually hot and sweaty. In the winter, kids don’t feel as thirsty and are less likely to drink enough water.
Even though they may not sweat as they do in the summer, they may still be sweating. In colder temperatures, sweat can evaporate quickly. Kids’ bodies can lose fluids in other ways too, such as, through respiration. When the temperatures are cold enough for them to see their breath, their bodies are losing water vapor.
Encourage your children to take a water bottle and drink from it regularly during winter activities
This is a collaborative guest post, the ideas and opinions expressed do not necessarily represent those of Mommy Ramblings.