5 Snow Safety Tips for Families

Source: AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite. Taken January 21, 2014.

This past weekend, the Mid-Atlantic region just had a major snow storm with some areas close to DC reporting about a foot of snow. With every snowstorm, many people are going out to shovel in the snow and play.

We want our families to have fun while outside in the snow. So we are offering 5 tips on how you can have fun while remaining safe! Below is an excerpt slightly edited from NorthShore University Health System:

Layer Up

Dressing in layers helps insulate the body without overheating. The layer closest to the skin should be a moisture-wicking material, which can easily be purchased at sport stores – typically near the running section. This material will pull sweat away from your body and prevents you from overheating. Use caution when dressing small children and babies – scarves and mittens on a string can be cute but they pose a choking hazard.

All Helmets Are Not Created Equal

Snow sports-related injuries are becoming more frequent. American Academy of Pediatrics strongly encourage children between the 7 – 17 year old range to wear helmets to protect their head. It should fit comfortably yet snug on the head without movement forward or backward. It should be approved and meet the safety requirements for the particular sport.

Warm Up

After playing outside in the snow, come inside and immediately take off all wet clothing. Put on fresh, dry clothing and be sure to cover the wrists, toes and ankles to retain your body heat. Keeping a fresh change of clothes make the changing process easier, and don’t forget to make a mug of hot cocoa too to warm up your hands!

Take Frequent Breaks

We all love to play in the snow, but don’t overdo it! Take breaks every 30-40 minutes while playing in the snow. Apply sunscreen to protect your skin at least 30 minutes before going outside, and reapply it every two hours just like you would in the summertime (we can get sunburnt from sun reflecting off the snow!). Use lip balm with SPF often and apply sunscreen to all exposed skin. Also, don’t forget to take water breaks since playing in the snow is a physical activity.

Beware of the Frostbite Danger

When you check on your kids, take a look at their skin. If their skin is pale, grey or blistering on the fingers, ears, nose or toes, it could be frostbite. Submerge the affected area under running warm (not hot!) water for 15-30 minutes. Shivering, slurred speech and clumsiness may be a sign of hypothermia. If that is the case, call 911 immediately.

Source: https://www.northshore.org/healthy-you/tips-for-staying-safe-in-the-snow/

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