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10 Safety Tips for Winter Sports

Keep the fun in outdoor play this season.

Colder temperatures can’t keep kids—or adults—from venturing outside to play. But injuries can.

Whether in your backyard or on a winter vacation, use these tips to help keep your family safe when enjoying winter activities:

  1. Always wear safety gear. Helmets are number one. Sport-appropriate helmets worn while sledding or playing winter sports can help protect children and adults from head injuries.
  2. Dress appropriately. Scarves, hats, boots and gloves are winter essentials. Also layer on warm water- and wind-resistant clothing. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends dressing children in one layer more than adults would wear in the same conditions.
  3. Use sunscreen. Protect exposed skin with sunscreen rated SPF 15 or higher. Also wear UV eye protection and lip balm with sunscreen.
  4. Take frequent breaks. Children lose body heat faster than adults. Call kids in from the cold to warm up and change out of wet clothing.
  5. Stay hydrated. Even in winter, it’s important to drink plenty of fluids before, during and after outdoor activity.
  6. Scout slopes. Look for gentle snow-covered hills free of trees, holes and other hazards. Also choose areas away from streets and water.
  7. Sled safely. To reduce the risk of injury, sledders should sit facing forward. Never sled down a hill headfirst.
  8. Take lessons. A knowledgeable ski or snowboard instructor can teach your child important basic safety tips such as the correct way to fall.
  9. Look out for others. Sometimes, the slopes may be extra busy. Keep an eye out for fellow skiers. Better yet, try to time your runs to avoid the congestion.
  10. Watch the weather. Keep kids indoors during extreme cold or high winds. And never play outside during a severe snowstorm when white-out conditions might become disorienting.

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