Follow these winter safety tips.

While snow-covered grounds appear fluffy and powdery, don’t let its soft look fool you.  According to the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), 160,000 sledding and tubing-related injuries occur annually. the most common injury seen from these accidents is head injuries. Other findings included:

  • Kids 14 and under are most at risk for injury
  • 15,000 of these injuries required emergency room visits
  • Sleds can reach speeds of 25 mph

So, before your kids hit the slopes or the local park, be sure to review the following tips.

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Ice Skating

  • Skate in the same direction as the crowd
  • Avoid darting across the ice
  • Never skate alone
  • Not chew gum or eat candy while skating.
  • Have your child wear a helmet, knee pads and elbow pads, especially while learning to skate.

Sledding

  • Children less than 5 years of age should not sled alone.
  • Keep young children separated from older children.
  • Sled feet first or sitting up instead of lying down head-first to prevent head injuries.
  • Consider having your child wear a (hockey not bicycle) helmet while sledding.
  • Sleds should be structurally sound and free of sharp edges and splinters. The steering mechanism should be well lubricated.
  • Sled slopes should be free of obstructions like trees or fences, covered in snow, not be too steep (slope of less than 30º), and end with a flat runoff.
  • Avoid sledding in crowded areas.

Snow Skiing and Snowboarding

  • Children should be taught to ski or snowboard by a qualified instructor in a program designed for children.
  • Young children should always have adult supervision. Older children’s need for supervision depends on their maturity and skill. If older children are not with an adult, they should always have a friend with them.
  • All skiers and snowboarders should wear a fitted helmet.
  • Equipment should fit the child. Skiers should wear safety bindings that are adjusted at least every year. Snowboarders should wear gloves with built-in wrist guards. Hip pads are effective in preventing fractures. Eye protection or goggles should also be worn.
  • Slopes should fit the ability and experience of the skier or snowboarder. Avoid crowded slopes.

 

For more tips on how to help kids safe, visit www.chp.edu/injury-prevention.

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