photo by Julia Freeman-Woolpert, stock.xchng
"We see a startling number of injuries among children, from sledding accidents to snowmobile crashes and beyond," says Amy Teddy, manager of the pediatric injury prevention program at Mott.
Take precautions to prevent serious injuries.
Helmets should be worn when snowboarding, sledding, snowmobiling and skiing. This is especially true for children under the age of 12. Often, the degree of severity of a head injury is directly related to use of a helmet or not. The Consumer Product Safety Commission reports over 70,000 head injuries from winter sports each year.
Dress safely. Wear layers of clothing for warmth. Make sure that small children have on enough layers. The layers will prevent hypothermia, and can pad skin from bumps and cuts. Wearing a hat is important to stay warm. Keep loose clothing tucked in when around machines, or moving fast downhill.
Always have a companion. Even children can watch out for each other, and one person can run for help if there is a problem.
Don’t play on the ice. Injuries that occur on ice are worse than those on snow. Avoid routes across ice. For ice skating, use designated areas, and check for debris and cracks before skating.
Check for a clear path before heading down a hill. Many injuries come from collisions with obstacles. Ski, sled, snowboard only after checking to make sure there are no obstructions. This includes trees and people.
Don't play in the dark. Winter sports after sun-down can be fun, but take part in activities in well-lit areas.
Wear sun block and goggles if you will be outside a long time. UV rays can be intense in the winter as they bounce off snow.
Follow posted warning signs at outdoor recreation areas.
"Playing in the snow is fun for all ages, but make sure to keep sight of common sense. Many of these injuries are entirely preventable," Teddy adds.
from Health News Digest, "Preventing Winter Sports Injuries: 7 Tips to Safely Play in the Snow", by Krista Hopson, Dec 20, 2007
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