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10 Safety Tips for Winter Sports

Keep the fun in outdoor play this season.

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

Whether in your backyard or on a winter vacation, help keep your family safe when enjoying winter activities such as sledding, snowboarding, skiing and ice-skating with these tips:

  1. Always wear safety gear. Helmets are number-one. Sport-appropriate helmets can help protect children and adults from head injuries while sledding or playing winter sports.
  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 SPF lip balm of 25 or higher and UV eye protection.
  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 the 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. Sledders should sit with their feet facing forward to reduce the risk of injury. 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. On sunny winter days, 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 whiteout conditions might prove disorienting

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