Winter can be lots a of fun, but unfortunately, there are some associated potential dangers. Here are some facts and important tips about keeping children safe during the winter months:
- Children can easily succumb to frost bite, so during cold weather, make sure that your child’s clothing, shoes, boots and gloves stay dry. If either of these items gets wet, change your child in to dry ones.
- Make sure your children do not play in snow that is piled up for clearing on the street or sidewalks. Tragically children have been killed by snow cleaning equipment while playing in these banks.
- As the winter ice and snow melts, it may fall from a roof or side of a home or building and injure someone seriously. Make sure that your home or building is free of this hazard.
- Whenever sledding or tobogganing, sliding on or into a road should not be allowed. Additionally go down shallow slopes free of obstacles such as trees. Avoid sliding down a crowded slope.
- Most of winter sport injuries involve twists, sprains and strains. These injuries can be protected for example, during skiing and skating, by getting your child good instructors, proper equipment and off course appropriate supervision.
- Helmets have become part of the regular or standard equipment or attire in biking, hockey, inline skating, baseball and football to name a few. They should also become a regular habit in winter sports or activities that can potentially cause life threatening head injuries such as tobogganing and skiing.
- Snowmobiling is particularly risky for children and young adults. For safety reasons, children less 6 years of age should never ride as passengers on snowmobiles. Also, only children older than 16 years of age should drive snowmobiles. Of course, drivers and passengers should always wear the proper protective equipment including an approved helmet.
- Frozen ponds or lakes make for great skating. Make sure however that the ice is thick enough to allow safe skating before you let your children walk onto or skate on such frozen surfaces.
- Fireplaces are fun, warm and cozy, but should be used safely; Always use a screen to prevent sparks from igniting items around the fireplace such as newspapers carpets, furniture and curtains. Only use the fireplace when you’re at home and awake.
- You should install carbon monoxide detectors in your home if your heating system uses fuel such as oil or gas.
- Never leave children in a running parked car especially during the winter because the snow can block the car exhaust pipe, resulting in a carbon monoxide poisoning which can be deadly.
Pediatrician DR.PAUL Roumeliotis is certified by the American Board of Pediatrics and Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada. The information provided above is designed to be an educational aid only. It is not intended to replace the advice and care of your child’s physician, nor is it intended to be used for medical diagnosis or treatment. If you suspect that your child has a medical condition always consult a physician.